Buda survey aims to focus priorities for Main Street

A survey meant to gather what Buda residents want in their downtown is the first priority of an advisory board that assists the city’s newly appointed Main Street program.

The survey, created by the Main Street Advisory Board, is to get direction from residents for the downtown sector and narrow the focus for planned projects, said Maggie Gillespie, Buda Main Street manager.

“They (MSAB) are new to the job so getting this survey out kind of helps with the process of trying to narrow down our focus and the things that we should tackle first,” Gillespie said.

Gillespie said with admittance to the Texas Main Street program comes certain requirements for the state’s resources and funding.

“It’s a contract … Whenever a city becomes a Main Street City they enter into a contract with the state for resources and funds, and in return we have to show them we are working towards historic preservation, and every month we have to send them a monthly report of our progress.” Maggie Gillespie, Buda Main Street manager

Gillespie also mentioned creating a work plan for each year that’s focused on one of the four points in the Texas Main Street program, then submitting it to the state for approval.

Gillespie said the downtown survey is less about the schematics of downtown and more about the “feeling.”

“The survey is more about feeling, how do they want to feel when they come into downtown and how can we help create that feeling,” Gillespie said.

Gillespie said survey questions range from asking what time of day residents come into downtown Buda and why they go to the downtown sector. In addition, the survey asks how residents would like to see the current city hall, library and public annex buildings used, as they will be vacated when the new municipal building is completed in 2018.

“We want to draw more people into our downtown area, whether that is with more events, more local shops and restaurants and the kind of events people want to see downtown,” Gillespie said.

Gillespie mentioned that a resource team from the state would be arriving in the middle of this week to speak to different groups of residents to understand the area, as well as how they can better assist in the revitalization of downtown.

“We want to continue to support our local businesses and have that local flair that brings people in for our historic downtown, for the trees and just the beauty we have here in Buda,” Gillespie said.

Gillespie said the survey is available online on the city’s website and will close on May 12, which is around the same time the resource team will finish forming with its recommendations and send them to Buda.

Gillespie is expecting to make a presentation to city council on the survey results as well as the state findings at the council meeting after the May 16 council meeting.

“I think the role of the Main Street Advisory Board as well as my role in the Main Street project are very important because we are laying the foundation for the look and feel of downtown Buda in the future,” Gillespie said.

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