Hays WCID No. 1 and No. 2 July NewsletterJul 2, 2021
Fun with Fireworks
Happy Independence Day to all our friends in Hays WCID!
After more than a year of distancing ourselves from loved ones, family traditions, and normal routines, most of us are probably eager to celebrate this year’s 4th of July with a bang. To prevent our enthusiasm from mushrooming into serious consequences, please read on for important facts and tips about firework safety.
Every year, lives are risked and millions of dollars of land and assets are damaged during hundreds of brush, grass, and structure fires sparked across the state by firework celebrations. Therefore, fireworks are strictly prohibited from parks and greenbelts.
In 2017, eight people died and over 12,000 required medical treatment for firework- related accidents. Although fireworks can be purchased for home use, that doesn’t mean they’re safe. Homemade and other illegal explosives are even more dangerous, as are professional-grade products in the hands of amateurs.
- Don’t play with fireworks if you’re impaired by drugs or alcohol
- Young children should never handle fireworks and older children should be closely supervised
- Use protective eyewear and don’t hold lighted fireworks in your hands
- Don’t lean over them when lighting or ignite devices in a container
- Don’t light them indoors, near people, or flammable materials
- Do not try to re-light or handle malfunctioning fireworks
- Keep a bucket of water nearby in case of fire
- Soak used and unused fireworks in water for a few hours before discarding.
Rather than trying and failing to replicate a big show at home, why not enjoy one of the more than 15 professional firework displays being hosted in the Austin area over the weekend? These events have the added bonus of parades, carnivals, live music, drive-in movies, baseball, water park rides, local artwork, and a wide assortment of top-notch food, along with stunning after-dark light shows.
More pets go missing in early July than at any other time of year. Pets may take desperate measures to escape the noise, even in familiar surroundings. To keep your furry family member safe, please:
- Equip your pet with an up-to-date microchip and collar
- Secure your yard and bring your pet indoors, even if they’re normally kept outside
- Employ anti-anxiety tools and techniques
- If keeping them at home is not an option, always use a leash
- Remember some dogs will eat anything, including fireworks full of chemicals and heavy metals, so don’t give them access.
- In Austin, call 311 to report illegal fireworks. We hope you’ll enjoy a safe and problem-free holiday weekend!
Property Tax Updates
Hays County WCID No.1
The Board of Directors of Hays County WCID No.1 is pleased to report to all District residents that it has voted to increase the residential homestead exemption from 5% to 7% for the 2021 tax year; and approved a $20,000 exemption for the 2021 tax year for residents over 65 years old or disabled.
This year’s tax exemptions follows several property tax relief actions taken by the Board over recent years, including a 2016 $10,000 exemption for residents over 65 or disabled; a reduction of the District’s 2018 tax rate from 87.5 cents per $100 of value to 86 cents per $100 of value; and approval of the original residential homestead exemption for the 2019 tax year. All these actions remain in effect. The Board also saved $2,828,463 in 2020 by refunding six separate Bond Series.
These savings are the result of an annual process developed by the Board to evaluate the District’s anticipated capital projects, operating and maintenance budget, available fund balance, and increases in overall assessed value of taxable District property to determine whether additional tax relief is fiscally responsible. The Board has also refinanced debt from prior bond issuances to improve the District’s financial position, allowing for consideration and ultimate approval of property tax relief over recent years. Additionally, the Board worked diligently throughout 2020 to address remaining development obligations and take advantage of low interest rates in financing its most recent bond issuance. The District continues to monitor the call dates on all Bonds issued for future potential savings.
Hays County WCID No. 2
After reducing the tax rate from 87.5 cents per $100 of value to 86.5 cents per $100 of value in 2020, the Board of Directors of Hays County WCID No. 2 is pleased to report to all District residents that for the 2021 tax year it has voted to adopt a residential homestead exemption of 4%; and approved a $20,000 exemption for residents over 65 years old or disabled.
The Board worked diligently to keep the property tax rate level as the community has been built out and has only recently been in a position to consider the possibility of reducing the tax rate and adopting exemptions. The Board will continue to evaluate the property tax rate on an annual basis in a fiscally responsible manner and to monitor the call dates on all Bonds issued for future savings opportunities.
New Electronic Meters Can Save You Money
Just ask the resident on Abbey Drive, who was recently notified by an Inframark technician of an 81 gpm leak! This was made possible by last year’s vote from your Board of Directors to invest in advanced metering infrastructure (AMI). This “smart” technology doesn’t require utility personnel to collect the data and instead, uses cellular networks to automatically transmit the data directly to the utility at predetermined daily intervals. The data can then be used to improve operational efficiencies and sustainability by monitoring water usage and system efficiency, detecting malfunctions, and recognizing irregularities. This benefits the District as a whole and you.
After the upgrade, you’ll be able to:
Have unlimited access to your water usage history for tracking and monitoring. Usage history can be viewed monthly, daily, hourly, or even by the minute. This is especially useful in the summer months when irrigation use is amped up.
Set custom alerts for things like high usage and continuous flow.
Request email or text alerts for more timely notifications in the event of a leak. We encourage customers to utilize the EyeOnWater smart meter online dashboard and/or download the mobile app for improved visibility, automation, and control of your account.
Meter replacement has been delayed by social distancing to limit the spread of COVID-19 and the worldwide computer chip shortage, but we expect all meters to be upgraded by the end of 2021. During the meter changeout, our staff will notify you if there’s a need to interrupt your water service, which should be for no longer than 15-20 minutes. After installation is complete, Inframark will hang door tag instructions for how to access the portal. Information will also be available on the Hays WCID website, Facebook page, and via email to assist with sign up. You can also contact the District Office at any time for help.
We hope everyone will utilize this great new tool to help lower costs and conserve our important water resources!
Contact the WCID staff at CSAUS@Inframark.com or 512-416-8076 or visit us at the Belterra Office, 151 Trinity Hills Dr, Austin TX 78737 Monday – Friday 8:00 to 5:00
** 24 Hour Emergency 512-246-0498*