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Prop 5 could mean greener pastures for Buda parks

By Samantha Smith

The Buda City Council earlier this month approved the Garison Park Master Plan into the Proposition 5 budget of the city’s 2014 Bond initiative. 

Proposition 5, which was part of the 2014 bond that was approved by Buda voters, includes improvements to City Park as well as surrounding parkland and trails. 

Buda Director of Parks and Recreation Drew Wells said the creation of the master plan for Garison Park calls for an amendment to the overall design contract with Design Workshop for all Proposition 5 projects. 

The amendment will cost an additional $8,640 to the already capped bond amount of $8 million.

Council based its decision on the Buda Parks and Recreation Commission when it approved the contract amendments.   

According to the Bond Committee, the bond money should go to the improvements needed at City Park, as well as the creation of a future plan for Garison Park.

Wells said that language within Proposition 5 was primarily for City Park development, but it was broad enough to allow improvements to other parkland in Buda.

“The design plan for City Park and the design plan for Garison Park are closely related due to their proximity to one another,” Wells said. “[A]nd we were given the opportunity to plan them simultaneously, which will allow us to better execute design aesthetics for both parks in the future.” 

Wells said the fact that the city will have a Master Plan for Garison Park doesn’t mean council will take action on it. 

The Garison Park master plan will be submitted to the Parks and Recreation Commission, who will review it and hear citizen feedback on what features they would like to see in the future plans of the park, Wells said. 

Mayor Todd Ruge was in favor of the master planning of Garison Park and said, “It sets a benchmark for what we want that park to look like in the future.” 

“I think it’s appropriate to get these plans done now so the citizens can choose where the funding will go when it comes in,” Ruge said. 

Councilmember Angela Kennedy echoed both Wells’ and Ruge’s sentiments about the amendment to the Proposition 5 budget to include the Master plan of Garison Park. 

“The acquisition of the Garison Park property was very lucky for the city of Buda and will offer more recreational capabilities like a natural swimming hole that we need to have a master plan for before it can be made available to the public,” Kennedy said. 

Kennedy and Wells agreed that City Park, Garison Park and Stagecoach Park have the potential to become a parkland corridor in the future.

Kennedy said she was confident in her vote to approve the Garison Park Master Plan after the Parks and Recreation commission supported it.   

“They support it, so I support it,” Kennedy said. 

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