The Bastrop Advertiser (Bastrop, Tex.), Vol. 156, No. 88, Ed. 1 Saturday, January 2, 2010 Page: 3 of 9

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Saturday, January 2, 2010
Wnt JBastrop Sldoertiscr • Page A3
Pet of the week
Buddy is a 7-year-old rat
terrier. He needs to be the
only male dog in the fam-
ily. He is housetrained. He
is a little shy but is starting
to come out of his shell.
He is a very sweet dog and
would make an amazing
pet for a family. For more
animals at the Bastrop
County Animal Shelter
shelter visit www. Petan-
go.com/bastropanimalshelter or call (512)581 -4080. The shelter is at
589 Coolwater Drive and open Tuesday through Saturday.
TREE: Ordinance is probably more than Bastrop needs
Continued from page A1
The city's planning
and zoning committee
had also given the nod to
the draft, Talbot said.
The proposed ordi-
nance contained such
items as a Tree Com-
mittee that would have
been authorized to en-
ter private property, file
complaints in municipal
court and file temporary
restraining orders when
it came to actions re-
garding trees.
Also, fines of up to
$5,000 for violations of
the ordinance were part
of the draft plan.
"It turned into an
emotionally charged s-
sue," Talbot said, citing
emails and phone calls
the city had received.
The Advertiser pub-
lished several letters
from citizens claiming
DBA: Vaughan helped bring attention, growth to Bastrop
Continued from page A1
"The Downtown Busi-
ness Alliance has been an
economic driving force for
the City of Bastrop since
its inception," said Bas-
trop Mayor Terry Orr,
"Under the leadership of
Ms. Jimmie Ann Vaughn
it has developed projects
that have attracted people
to our downtown area and
the rest of our business
community on a consis-
tent basis. As people have
experienced the many at-
tractions and activities
the DBA has initiated we
have experienced a carry
over so now we see shop-
pers downtown on a daily
basis and not just on the
weekends. During the pe-
riod Ms. Vaughn has been
the president of DBA, the
city's sales tax revenues
have consistently risen
and downtown Bastrop
has experienced an eco-
nomic vitality and invest-
ment climate which has
been remarkable."
Stepping into the role
of president will be com-
munity activist and local
business owner Drusilla
Rogers. Rogers owns The
Sugar Shack, located at
114A Loop 150 West.
"If I had to describe
Jimmie Ann in one word,
it would be 'passionate'
about her commitment to
downtown Bastrop, but if
I could add another word
it would be 'remarkable',"
Rogers said. "I do not be-
lieve the DBA would be as
successful an organization
as it has come to be with-
out her amazing leader-
ship and hard work. My
goals as the new president
are to keep the DBA a
strong and vital organiza-
tion and to strive to keep
the downtown the heart-
beat of Bastrop. Also, to
co-ordinate with the oth-
er great organizations of
Bastrop, to work as a team
working toward the same
goals and to build Bastrop
to be the exciting and pros-
perous city we all know it
can be."
Vaughan could not say
enough about the woman
who will be taking over
the leadership role.
"Drusilla will do an
absolutely excellent job,"
Vaughan said. "She is
four-feet of energy, enthu-
siasm and leadership. She
has the most incisive mind
I've ever been around. She
is one of the most dedicat-
ed members."
Taking the reins as
vice president will be Deb-
bie Denny, advertising
sales representative for
The Bastrop Advertiser.
Membership in the
DBA currently stands at
more than 200 volunteers
who are interested in
maintaining the integrity
of the historic business
district, as well as making
it a compelling and attrac-
tive site for visitors and
residents, Vaughan said.
"Our goal is to work
with all business and oth-
er existing organizations
to make sure our old town
thrives for all our benefit,"
Vaughan said.
DROUGHT: Long-term impacts threaten wildlife, agriculture
Continued from page A1
matter of years," said
Bastrop County Emer-
gency Management Coor-
dinator Mike Fisher this
week. "What concerns
me is what the long-term
effects of a drought of
record will be, not only
on agriculture, but on
ecosystems; on endan-
gered species. There are
going to be some effects
that come from over 18
months of a drought."
Underscoring Fisher's
concerns on long-term
impacts is the fact few
places in Texas were hit
as hard and long as Bas-
trop County. Listed by
Texas State Climatolo-
gist John Nielsen-Gam-
mon as one of nine coun-
ties in the state suffering
from a drought of record,
it is no wonder McDon-
ald's letter requesting a
disaster declaration was
among the first of its kind
to land on the governor's
desk this year.
At the same time as
the letter, the Bastrop
County Drought Man-
agement Task Force
was formed consisting of
Fisher, Bastrop County
Extension Service Co-
ordinator Rachel Bauer
and close to a dozen oth-
ers.
Earlier this week
Bauer provided a report
to county commissioners
on the current drought
situation and said the
task force will continue
to meet regardless of the
recent rains. Although
Bauer acknowledged
that stock tank water
has been replaced in
most areas of the county
and soil moisture content
is back in upper layers
of soil, she also stressed
that Nielsen-Gammon
has yet to lift the official
drought declaration due
to overall aquifer levels
still being low.
"We (task force) are
going to continue meet-
ing until we see what is
going to happen with the
water situation," Bauer
said. "There is going to
be long-lasting effects
of the drought in terms
of farming, wildlife and
ranching."
Bob Rose, chief mete-
orologist with the Lower
Colorado River Author-
ity, says it is notable
that many water suppli-
ers and cities throughout
Central Texas are begin-
ning to lift mandatory
water restrictions. He
also says it is a good sign
that nearby Lake Travis
and Canyon Lake have
risen to levels of almost
60 percent full from lows
of 36 percent this past
summer. Yet like Bauer,
Rose is among those cau-
tioning against prema-
ture celebrations that all
is well.
"Still, in reality, it
is not over for us," Rose
said in reference to the
drought. "We still have a
lot of ground to make up
and I think that points
to just how severe the
drought was and the toll
it took on our lakes and
water supply."
In terms of the ef-
fect on local ecosystems,
Meredith Longoria, Bas-
trop County's wildlife
biologist for Texas Parks
and Wildlife, knows the
hurt is not over. The hit
the drought has had on
the endangered Hous-
ton Toad population,
for example, is an issue
unto itself and one that
has yet to be completely
understood, says the bi-
ologist. One of the more
noticeable effects is the
stress to oak and berry
producing trees that has
already impacted the
availability of acorns
and food sources crucial
to wildlife. When food
sources become scarce,
changes inevitably de-
velop in the movement,
breeding patterns and
survival rates of a wide
range of species includ-
ing turkeys, white-tail
deer, migratory and resi-
dent songbirds, coyotes
and bobcats.
"The effects of this
drought are likely to con-
tinue for several years
even if normal rainfall
conditions continue as
trees continue to be sus-
ceptible to disease af-
fecting the production of
acorns and berries and
the availability of the
browse," Longoria said.
"On the brighter side,
grasses and forbs are
quickly re-establishing
with the current increase
in rainfall, which is good
for a variety of species."
Longoria says the is-
sue of tree diseases has
been central to discus-
sions among biologists
and foresters studying
the drought. Besides
impacting food produc-
tion, the stress caused
to root systems can often
mean quick and sud-
den deaths for the trees
themselves.
"The root systems are
stressed and with a sud-
den increase in moisture
following an unusually
extreme drought, they
are susceptible to root
rot, thus the healthy-
looking trees that just
topple over for what
seems like no reason,"
Longoria said.
Further threaten-
ing forests, says the bi-
ologist, is the fact that
stressed pine trees loose
their resistance to the
pine bark beetle and oak
trees are susceptible to a
particular fungus called
hypoxylon cancer.
"There is little to no
warning," Longoria said
in reference to the two
threats. "Once symp-
toms appear, there is
nothing that can be done
to stop the demise of the
trees."
Regardless of the
long-term concerns,
there are few who
would deny the bless-
ings brought on by the
recent rains. Only time
will tell whether those
wet weather patterns
will carry over into next
summer. For the time
being, however, the
drought remains.
"There is a stigma
attached to the word
drought that it only
means dry," Fisher said.
"Well, look out your
window right now and
you can see that it's not
dry. That doesn't mean it
is over though."
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NOON,Thursday, Jan. 14
The Bastrop Advertiser will be closed Monday, Jan. 18 in
observance o f the Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Holiday •321-2557
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the city was overstepping
its bounds, although Tal-
bot said he had received
no notice of anyone tak-
ing legal action.
In a Dec. 12 article in
The Advertiser, Brown
said Texas courts have
upheld the right of cit-
ies to control, to some
degree, what happens
to trees on private prop-
erty.
Still, it quickly be-
came a contentious is-
sue, Talbot said.
Council member Ken
Kesselus agreed.
"I heard very little
positive (comment) about
the ordinance," Kesselus
said, referring to both
emails he received and
comments heard from
citizens. "My initial view
of the (draft ordinance)
was that it was a lot
more than we needed."
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BIDS: Big projects on
city s calendar for this year
Continued from page A1
The first round of
bids, with a Tuesday 2
p.m. deadline, are for
the construction work
on the new city hall.
All bids will be
opened by Talbot and
Gene Kruppa, with
BEFCO Engineering
(La Grange), the city's
engineering consul-
tant.
At 3 p.m. the city,
through Talbot, will
accept and then an-
nounce bids received
for civil engineering
work on both the con-
vention center and city
hall. Talbot said that
work - separate from
building construction
- is for such items as
storm drainage and
water line extensions.
At 4 p.m. Talbot will
announce the bids re-
ceived for two packets
- one for construction
only on the convention
center; and a separate
bid by contractors for
construction for both
projects.
Although 40 con-
tractors showed up for
the Dec. 15 pre-bid con-
ference, Talbot said on
Wednesday that the city
had no bids in hand.
But he said that's typ-
ical in a bidding project
of this size.
"Some contractors are
negotiating with sub-
contractors right up to
the last minute bids are
due," Talbot said.
The bids can only be
awarded by the city coun-
cil, which will likely occur
during the council's Jan.
12 meeting, Talbot said,
adding that the award-
ing of the contracts goes
to "the lowest, most qual-
ified bidders."
To complete the pro-
cess, city officials will
check the financial histo-
ry of the companies who
came in with lowest bids,
plus their ability to com-
plete projects on time.
"If the lowest bidder
is not recommended for a
project, we have to notify
him in writing, and then
he does have the oppor-
tunity to come before city
council before they make
their decision," Talbot
said.
RADIO: New system
enhance communication
Continued from page A1
"The advantage
with the 800 system
is that there are more
channels available in
a major crisis and all
agencies can talk di-
rectly to one another,"
said Perry as crews
were installing the ra-
dios on his trucks last
week.
He said other Bas-
trop County fire de-
partments should
have their 800-radios
up and running by
March 1.
An 800mhz radio
system is a blend of
traditional two-way
radio technology and
computer-controlled
transmitters. The sys-
tem's main advantage
is that radio trans-
mitters can be shared
among various depart-
ments, with the aid of
computer program-
ming.
"Talk groups" can
also be created in the
software for inter-de-
partmental conversa-
tions - a situation when
non-emergency com-
munication is occurring
and it's not necessary for
other fire departments
or assisting agencies to
hear those exchanges.
Kevin Gieselhart,
chief with the Five-
Points Volunteer Fire
Department, said on
Thursday that his de-
partment already has
seven of 14 new radios
installed on trucks and
will also have another 30
portable radios.
"These 800 radios
will allow everybody to
be singing off the same
sheet of music," Giesel-
hart said. "You will know
what the other guy is do-
ing during a fire, and the
'other guy' in our fight is
the fire. Safety improve-
ment is the biggest deal
to come out of this."
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Wright, Cyndi. The Bastrop Advertiser (Bastrop, Tex.), Vol. 156, No. 88, Ed. 1 Saturday, January 2, 2010, newspaper, January 2, 2010; Bastrop, Texas. (https://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth252645/m1/3/ocr/: accessed May 21, 2019), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, https://texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Bastrop Public Library.

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