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Delays halt construction on Buda City Park

Consternation over a delay in permitting for construction to start at Buda City Park led one city leader to express frustration April 16.

The issue extended to the Barr Company waiting for a site development permit before beginning improvements at the park, part of Proposition 5 of Buda’s $55 million bond approved by voters in 2014. Work at Buda City Park, including construction for an amphitheater and a splash pad among other amenities, was supposed to begin in early 2019.

Buda city leaders approved an agreement with the Barr Company in December 2018 for a $5.35 million bid to renovate the park, the Hays Free Press reported.

City officials estimated construction lasting ten to 12 months, with completion set for around January 2020.

However, Greg Olmer, Buda Parks and Recreation Director, said the delay in the permit earlier this month could push that completion estimate “back a little bit.”

Buda City Council member Paul Daugereau said it’s been “frustrating” not seeing a whole lot of activity at the work site.

Kenneth Williams, Buda city manager, said the city could be able to resolve the issue “through the administrative process.”

Meanwhile, Buda issued a certificate of occupancy (COO) for the $359,000 Green Meadows Splash pad, which officially opened to the public April 11. The splash pad is also part of Proposition 5 of the 2014 bond.

Officials estimated opening of the splash pad by summer 2018. However, delays and issues led to construction taking longer, with the project not fully completed until January.

Olmer said city officials did some “last minute testing” to ensure the system was operating properly before a “soft” opening.

Buda officials eye a grand opening for the splash pad by May or June.

Meanwhile, work on several projects under Proposition 3 of the Buda bond are underway.

John Nett, Buda city engineer, said work began in January on improvements to Old Goforth Road at FM 2001 on the east side of the city. Work includes adding a dedicated turn lane near Tom Green Elementary, along with significant drainage work on the road. Officials estimate construction to be compelted by October.

Buda hopes to also let improvements at Main Street and the RM 967 intersection by the first week of August, with construction lasting until possibly spring 2020.

Scope of the project includes adding continuous through lanes on Main Street, along with dedicated turn lanes onto RM 967, as well as sidewalk improvements. In addition, Nett said the city plans for overhead utilities to be placed underground. In addition, Buda officials expect to be reimbursed for a portion of the project through federal funds.

Improvements on other parts of Main Street, specifically from Railroad Street to just past Santa Cruz Catholic Church, are expected to be issued a notice to proceed in late May with completion by summer 2020.

Work consists of adding through lanes on south Main Street, as well as working on drainage improvements along the road near Bradfield Park.

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