Carlie Porterfield

City council unanimously approves La Cima project

In a unanimous vote with one abstention Tuesday night, San Marcos City Council passed a resolution authorizing an agreement with the La Cima developers that will permit the construction of 2,400 single-family homes.

Bringing upper-level housing to San Marcos, the proposed La Cima development will be a 2,050-acre development with 2,400 single-family homes. The development will include a 200-acre commercial and retail site and 400 acres of open space just west of the city in what is now the extraterritorial jurisdiction.

“I want to thank the subcommittee and all staffers and county representatives involved who guided us through this process,” said Mayor Daniel Guerrero. “I think we’ve come to a good mutual agreement.”

Administrators will not place cap on undergraduate enrollment

Undergraduate enrollment will not be capped despite rumors, although program growth is causing some university buildings to function at capacity.

University officials will not put a concrete limit on the number of new undergraduates enrolling in the future.

“We currently don’t have a cap on undergraduate enrollment, nor do we have one on graduate enrollment,” said Provost Eugene Bourgeois. “Currently we’re looking at a target for next year of about 5,100 freshmen, or roughly the same as the 2014 class, which was roughly the same as the 2013 class. So, if anything, that’s a steady rate for us moving forward.”

Councilmembers continue discussion of La Cima development

The San Marcos City Council has made progress concerning the La Cima development and plans to vote on a final development agreement next week.

La Cima is a proposed development of approximately 2,050 acres, including 2,400 single-family homes, a 200-acre commercial and retail site and about 400 acres of open space in the city’s extraterritorial jurisdiction west of the city. Councilmembers have been wrestling with the conditions of the development agreement.

“The county is considering issuing the PID bonds,” said Councilman Wayne Becak, Place 4, who serves on the La Cima subcommittee. “That hasn’t been approved yet, but that’s what the county is discussing.”

A PID is a public improvement district, Becak said.

San Marcos residents celebrate city’s first-ever Pride weekend

Forty-five years after the first brick was thrown at Stonewall, the first Pride celebration has finally come to the City of San Marcos.

The sun beat upon on the downtown courthouse grounds Saturday as about 300 people, Texas State students and city locals alike, congregated for the first San Marcos Pride Parade. Silvia Sandoval, the coordinator of the event, said it was a long time coming.

“It was a vision brought together by friends and family,” Sandoval said. “Everybody wanted it, so we created it.”

Four years ago, Sandoval, along with Gia de la Flor, began hosting Rainbow Night, a once-a-month Pride-themed party. Eventually, Sandoval said, they were able to create a solid foundation and connections so they could organize a Pride event.

Police aim to be ‘upfront’ in cases of excessive force

In the weeks following the shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, San Marcos officials have reacted to the issue of use of excessive force by police.

San Marcos Police Chief Chase Stapp said it is no secret that San Marcos police officers have been disciplined in the past for using excessive force. One notable example in recent years was in May 2013, when Cpl. James Palermo assaulted a female Texas State student during an illegal arrest. The student suffered a concussion and broken teeth as a result of the incident. Palermo was indefinitely suspended, the civil service equivalent of being fired, several months later after an internal investigation.

Council votes in support of La Cima development

A controversial measure was passed at the San Marcos City Council meeting Tuesday expressing support for a new development that would bring middle-class, single-family homes to San Marcos.

The council approved a resolution of support for the La Cima development project with a 6-1 vote with one council member abstaining.

Before the decision was made, there was outcry from environmentalists during the citizen comment period who claimed the city doesn’t have the means to support additional growth.

“We don’t have enough city staff to clean up the river,” said Lisa Marie Coppoletta, San Marcos resident. “We don’t need any more of these sorts of infrastructures.”

University awarded $15 million grant from NASA

The university was awarded a record $15 million grant from NASA to train teachers in the Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) disciplines using NASA content, with a special emphasis on engaging minority students.

NASA’s Minority University Research and Education project awarded the grant to the university, according to a NASA press release. The grant will fund the Texas State STEM Rising Stars, a collaborative effort between the colleges of Education and Science and Engineering that aims to improve STEM undergraduate student retention and graduation rates. The group works to increase representation of underserved populations.

City flooding interrupts first day of classes

The first day of school often brings an overflow of students to The Quad, but this year a real flood near campus posed a challenge for those trying to get to class on time.

Around 5 p.m. Monday, a malfunction in the control system of a city water storage tank caused the tank to overflow, flooding Sessom Drive and the nearby university tennis complex.

Tom Taggart, executive director of Public Services, said the issue was with the valve system in the nearby water tank.

“Normally, when the tank reaches the full level, those valves would shut and prevent any more water from going into the tank, and in this case the valve opened and the tank overflowed,” Taggart said. “The valve was in the open position when it should have been in the closed position.”

Texas State looks to conserve water during Stage 4 drought

Texas State is cutting down on water usage and developing educational water conservation programs for students in response to the city implementing Stage 4 drought restrictions for the first time.

The City of San Marcos entered Stage 4 drought restrictions Aug. 17, just five days after the Edwards Aquifer Authority (EAA) announced Stage 4 conditions. According to a city press release, while San Marcos has been enforcing drought restrictions nearly continuously since April 2011, this is the first time in history that a Stage 4 drought has been declared.

Commissioners discuss possible facility funding

A special commissioners court meeting was held Monday evening to discuss possible action to order a bond election for the November ballot to fund several new law enforcement facilities.

According to a county press release, the facilities being considered for the bond proposition are a new jail, a multi-jurisdiction dispatch center and a law enforcement center.

At the meeting in The Hays County Courthouse, Broaddus & Associates representative Stephen Coulston presented possible layouts and plans for the new buildings.

Coulston said that building and site layouts have been developed for a new Hays County jail, a joint city and county law enforcement center, as well as a joint training center, which would be a repurposing of the existing jail facility.

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