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City council approves transit service plan

Thursday, September 17, 2020

The San Marcos City Council approved the San Marcos Transit Plan, also referred to as the Five-Year Strategic Plan for Transit Service, in its Tuesday meeting. 

The plan involves coordinating the Texas State University Bobcat Shuttle with San Marcos Transit. In addition to committee meetings there will be significant efforts of community engagement through eight public meetings and online surveys.

The City of San Marcos will work closely with the university and the State of Texas and will focus on downtown and university connectivity, improvements in frequency and adding new destinations like Amazon. 

They also voted to approve an interlocal agreement and funding the Capital Area Rural Transportation System (CARTS).

Council directed staff to form a citizen advisory committee for the Community Development Block Grant - Mitigation (CDBG-MIT) to promote transparency, provide input on how projects will impact neighborhoods and make recommendations for smoother implementation. 

The committee will be made of Planning and Zoning Commission members and Parks and Recreation Advisory Board members. 

They also discussed the Ad Hoc Committee intended to advise the San Marcos Police Department on their Use of Force Policies.

Councilmembers will make an effort to have diversity in experiences and representation on the committee when they review and vote on applications later this month. 

After reviewing the SMPD Use of Force Policies, the committee will meet to create a report with recommendations for the city council and the chief advisory panel.

In other business, councilmembers indicated interest in writing a resolution to congressional representatives and senators to express disapproval of the new United States Postal Service retail location on Bugg Lane, which is prone to flooding. 

Councilmembers also voted to put out a new bid for the collection and disposal of solid waste and recyclable materials instead of extending the agreement with Texas Disposal Systems (TDS) which has been the vendor for many years. 

There was no expressed displeasure with the current contract, but councilmembers felt it had been long enough since there had been a new bidding process for trash and recycling. Some councilmembers felt that TDS was still the best vendor but were confident that they would come out on top in a bidding process. 

In the COVID-19 update, Public Safety Director Chase Stapp explained the differences in how Hays County moves active cases from active to recovered. Some counties, like neighboring Travis County, automatically move active cases to recovered after 21 days. Hays County however requires making contact with a positive individual by phone to confirm they have been fever and symptom free for the required number of days.  

While there is a steady downward trend of cases, Stapp encourages residents to continue working hard to limit the spread. “If we can get a handle on active cases in Hays County, we have a lesser chance of having interaction with someone who is positive,” Stapp said, clarifying that steady trends and trajectories are what the city is using to determine reopening and closures. 

San Marcos Record

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