News Flash

City News

Posted on: December 23, 2019

2019 Year in Review

Buda-Logo-Final

2019 Year in Review Video

From completing bond projects to new schools opening in Buda, it was another busy year for the City. Here’s a look back at 2019. 

City Projects

Old Goforth wrapped up construction and re-opened in early November. The improvements included the widening of existing pavement for dedicated turn lanes, reconfiguration of sidewalks, and other upgrades.   

The Oxbow Drainage Improvement Project is also finished.  Channel improvements and culvert upgrades were made along the main channel. 

Construction wrapped up on The Houston Street Drainage Project. It included the construction of an open channel along Lily Street and a construction culvert along Rose Street.   

Work on the Wastewater Treatment Plant expansion is underway. This is a two-year project. It will increase the capacity from 1.5 to 3.5 millions of gallons per day.   

City Park is coming along. Upgrades include two new playground areas with ADA compliant playground equipment, a splash pad, pavilion improvements, new restrooms, and a games and grilling area. Perhaps one of the most exciting additions to City Park is an amphitheater. With the addition of an amphitheater, the City of Buda is poised to become a premiere festival and event location. Construction is expected to be finished in the Spring of 2020.

The Main Street and 967 Project is ongoing. Work started a few months ago. The first phase of the project will impact the east side of Main. After the holidays, work will shift to the west side of Main. Improvements include widening the sidewalk, creating turning lanes, addressing traffic flow, and other upgrades. The project is expected to be finished in the spring.    

Meanwhile, the work on Main Street between Cabelas and Railroad is also ongoing. The improvements include signal modification at Bradfield Drive and Main Street to accommodate additional lanes, Bradfield Park cross culvert extension/modification, the Extension of the sidewalk along Main Street and improved accessibility to Bradfield Park. Also, a permanent light will go up at Sequoyah and Main St. Work is expected to be finished by the summer.    

Governor Greg Abbott signed Senate Bill 483 into law. Senate Bill 483 is particularly impactful as it relates to the City’s future Aquifer Storage Recovery (ASR) pilot well. The City originally introduced the legislation during the 2017 Legislative Session. Next year, the City will drill an ASR well near the Garlic Creek Booster Station and Well 5. At the same, this will allow us to perform facility upgrades at the Garlic Creek Booster Station.

City Services

The City installed and replaced the City’s water meter system. The new system enables customers to see their consumption data in real-time as opposed to having to request consumption data from the City. This also give citizens control over their consumption by enabling customers to set usage alerts and leak warnings. 

Trying to empty out your medicine cabinet but don’t know where to take unwanted or unused medications? You can now dispose of excess and expired prescriptions, including over-the-counter medications, at a drop box located in the lobby of the Buda Police Department.

The City of Buda’s Water System recently received high marks from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality.  Through the hard work of the City’s Public Works operations and Engineering Professionals, the City has been designated a ‘Superior’ Public Water System by the TCEQ. To earn this designation, a system must meet and maintain a higher set of standards than are required of all public water systems.

Several changes were made to the Animal Control Ordinances this year, including changing pet registration from a yearly requirement with tags to a life-time registration with microchips.

Government/City Council

The City of Buda, Buda Economic Development Corporation, and Buda Area Chamber of Commerce took part in “Buda Legislative Day” at the Capitol. It was an opportunity for City leaders to meet with lawmakers to discuss upcoming legislation that could impact our community.    

Lauren Middleton-Pratt joined the City of Buda as the new Assistant City Manager of Development Services. Middleton-Pratt came to the City from Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL) where she served as a financial analyst. She served in both the public and private sector for 10 years prior to joining the City of Buda.

The City of Buda’s Fiscal Year 2017-18 annual audit of the City’s financial reports was completed by the City’s external audit firm Whitley Penn, LLP. Once again, we are pleased to announce that the City has received an unmodified or ‘clean’ audit. Having a ‘clean’, or unmodified audit means the City’s financial records have been determined by the audit firm to be free of any material misrepresentations.

The Buda City Council passed an ordinance declaring offensive odors a nuisance within City limits and 5,000 feet outside City limits. The City already had an odor ordinance, but this allows the City to enforce odor complaints in the ETJ (Extraterritorial Jurisdiction). The ordinance regulates unreasonably noxious or strong odors that drift across property lines. Odors that adversely impact public welfare, property values, the economy, or quality of life are considered a nuisance and in violation of the law. 

In June, the City Council approved an amended water resource management and drought response ordinance.  The updated ordinance includes the addition of new definitions such as Outdoor Splash Pads and Protected Trees. Drought triggers were also modified to add drought conditions from the Guadalupe-Blanco River Authority. 

Mr. Wiley Hopkins City Council term ended in November. Mr. Hopkins served on the City Council since 2013. A big thank you to Mr. Hopkins for your service to the citizens of Buda. You will be missed!

Council Member Lee Urbanovksy and new Council Member Terry Cummings were sworn in during the Nov. 19 City Council meeting. Urbanovksy ran uncontested for At-Large Position 1 in the Nov. 5 General Election. Cummings replaces Mayor Pro-Tem Wiley Hopkins in the Single Member District C seat. City Council also elected Urbanovsky as Mayor Pro-Tem. 

Community

It was a busy year for the Buda Public Library! It is truly a community space and a popular destination for students and adults alike.    

The Makers’ Lab is a place to let your creativity flow! It is packed with items and tools for everyone to explore. There is a Buda’s Kids Club that meets and once a month there is a dedicated makers lab day.    

Checking out books at the library has never been easier! The Buda Public Library acquired two new self-check stations  for library guests to check out materials faster and easier!

Also new this year, the library partnered with Community Action, Inc to provide free High School Equivalency Classes.

The library teamed up this summer with Hill Country Backyard Astronomers for an evening beneath the stars. Astronomy Night events will continue in the future.

Meanwhile, it was a busy summer of reading for the library’s summer reading club. We had 582 participants who logged 612,630 minutes of reading.

The old library’s furniture is history. We invited the public to come and scoop up what they wanted, and everything was taken!          

For more information on classes, events, or service please visit budalibrary.org.

The City held its first ever Don’t Mess with Texas Trash-Off in February. Volunteers came together to pick up trash and to keep Buda beautiful.  

Buda celebrated its 138th birthday on April 1st! the City held a birthday celebration at Stagecoach House to mark the big occasion. 

Summer was a little cooler thanks to the opening of the Green Meadows Splash Pad at Green Meadows Park. The news splash pad opened to the public in April and had a grand opening in June. 

Univision held it’s first “En Su Comunidad” or In Your Community event in Buda this year. Univision’s news anchors broadcasted live, and several community organizations were on hand to provide information on the services they provide to the public.

The new Johnson High School opened its doors this school year as did the new Buda Elementary School campus. 

Interested in Buda’s transportation system? The City of Buda is developing a Transportation and Mobility Master Plan to identify transportation needs and solutions. The City recently put out a survey to get input from the public on transportation needs. There will be more opportunities to provide your input in 2020. 

As always, the city put on several events this year including Red, White, & Buda, Booda Halloween, Cocoa Jingle and Downtown Lighting ceremony, and the Trail of Lights. One of Main Street Buda’s new events this year was Art in the Heart. And of course, the Buda Lions Annual Wiener Dog Races is always a popular event.

 Awards/Recognitions/Accomplishments

The City of Buda was ranked as the 15th safest city in Texas in the annual SafeWise.com Safest Cities Report. To identify the 50 cities with the best safety records, SafeWise analysts looked at the number of violent crimes reported in the 2017 FBI Unified Crime Report, the most recent data available.

The City’s Public Information Office received an Award of Honor from the Texas Association of Municipal Information Officers for its mini-documentary video on the Municipal Complex construction process from start to finish.

Congratulations to Finance Director June Ellis. June earned the national designation of Certified Public Manager (CPM) after graduating from Texas State University's William P. Hobby Center for Public Service in June.

A big congratulations to Buda City Manager Kenneth Williams! Mr. Williams took over as President of the Texas City Management Association (TCMA) for 2019-2020 on June 30, 2019. TCMA consists of local   government professionals dedicated to promoting the highest standards of governance, service, leadership, ethics, and education while embracing individual and regional diversity for the benefit of the membership and cities like Buda.

For the second consecutive year, the City of Buda has received the Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA) Distinguished Budget Presentation Award. This time for the Fiscal Year 2018-2019 budget. In order to receive the budget award, the City had to satisfy nationally recognized guidelines for effective budget presentation. 

Congratulations to Texas Downtown Association President's Award Winners Thatcher Natural Home Offerings, The Budaful Hiker, and Assemblage Contemporary Craftsman Gallery located at Buda Mill & Grain Co.

Main Street Buda received national accreditation by the National Main Street Center/Main Street America™

The City of Buda Municipal Complex was recognized with the Urban Land Institute's "Best Public Place" award! The Urban Land Institute recognizes and celebrates projects that achieve excellence in land use practice. Construction on the City of Buda Municipal Complex was completed in 2018 and it opened to the public in the summer of 2018.

Economy/Business

Baylor Scott & White opened their first full- service hospital in Hays County right here in Buda. Johnson High School opened its doors to students in Buda this school year, as did the new Buda Elementary School campus. On the east side of town, Sunfield station, a 30,000 square foot multi-use sports complex, celebrated its grand opening this year. 

There’s no question, Buda continues to grow. The latest population estimate from the Texas Demographic Center for the Buda City limit is 18,323. That’s up from 16,915 at the middle of last year and 7,295 in 2010.     

The City of Buda lost one of its longest working employees this year. Martin “Doc” Dockendorf passed away in August, with his family by his side. Doc was hired by the City of Buda’s Public Works Department in 2001 and served as the Wastewater Utility Supervisor. He was a wonderful employee who understood the meaning of the word “team”. He was focused on the good of the City and the department, rather than his own benefit. Doc is great missed by all of us here at the City of Buda.

Looking Ahead

The Main Street Construction Projects and City Park Improvement are slated to finished in 2020 

Work will begin on Drainage Area 1, which is the Fire Station and Bluff St. Diversion. The general scope of work for this project includes channel improvements and culvert upgrades along W. Goforth and the Union Pacific Railroad track.

Also, in 2020, the City will be conducting a 2020 Citizens Survey, so be on the lookout for that.  and as mentioned earlier, we will be putting together Transportation and Mobility Master Plan.

And Budafest will return bigger and better in 2020! Also expect to see additional events as we capitalize on the amphitheater at City Park once it is complete.

Here’s to an awesome 2020.

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