Hospital on Buda’s horizon? Public official leaks news of possible employer

With a slip of the tongue earlier this month, one Hays County leader could have inadvertently announced the name of a major employer that could fill a 35-acre area rezoned for hospital use in the Sunfield Municipal Utility District.

The snafu took place when Mark Jones, Hays County Pct. 2 commissioner, along with Victor Vargas, TxDOT area engineer, were updating council on various road projects in northeastern Hays County. Projects include several items along Interstate 35.

When describing improvements on FM 2001 from I-35 to Highway 21, Jones said the plan is to “start on both ends of I-35 and at 21, so we should be well ahead of Scott and White when they get ready to come.”

Jones added that he had met with representatives and “they are good with our schedule.”

In January, the Buda city council approved to rezone 35-acres in the Sunfield MUD for a possible medical center. City officials, however, did not say which medical company planned to make a move for Buda.

Rumors have circulated online, however, regarding a possible move by Baylor Scott and White to bring a medical center to Buda.

Baylor Scott and White has not made any public announcement of medical facilities in Buda. In February, officials with BSW announced the opening of a clinic in the Kyle area.

“Often times, we hear rumors,” Buda Mayor Todd Ruge said. “Until a business or company puts forward a site plan to (the planning and zoning commission), it’s all speculation.”

Jones did not provide further comment to what was said May 16.

Before the moment happened, Jones, along with Vargas, presented ongoing and completed area road projects during the May 16 city council meeting.

One of the primary projects is a new traffic signal light at RM 967 and Remuda Trail, which is currently being constructed. Once utilities are secured for that signal, it will be turned on and flashed in order to get people used to a signal in that location.

In addition, Vargas said I-35 improvements from Onion Creek Parkway to State Highway 45 southeast project should begin construction in 2019. Jones said SH 45 SW, which connects MoPac in South Austin to FM 1626 near Bliss Spillar Road, is 20 percent complete. 

Vargas said a ramp reversal project along I-35 near Kyle Crossing is currently in the design phase.

TxDOT’s RM 150 ramp reversal, which spans Interstate 35 from the Blanco River to the Center Street/FM 150 bridge in Kyle, is scheduled to open this summer.

Jones provided updates on the proposed Buda truck bypass, which would connect FM 967 at Robert S. Light Blvd. to FM 1626.

The bypass was included in the $131.4 million Proposition 1 in Hays County’s 2016 Bond, which was approved by voters.

According to the county’s website, the bypass project is projected to be completed by Spring 2019. Jones said the road would ease congestion on FM 967 and divert trucks away from the downtown sector.  

“This is the biggest improvement in the Buda area,” Jones said. “We have been trying to get trucks out of Buda to help with the congestion on 967” 

Jones also updated council on progress of State Highway 45 southwest, which connects MoPac in south Austin to FM 1626 near Bliss Spillar Road. Jones said 

Construction on FM 1626 south from 967 to FM 2770 is just waiting on utilities before crews begin work this summer.

Jones added the county is using a $2 million surplus from the FM 1626 widening project to create the design for expanding the west side of FM 967. The improvements are meant to accommodate for the influx of traffic today and the future, as Hays CISD’s third high school campus, located next to Carpenter Hill Elementary, is slated to be complete by 2019.

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