Through the use of existing parkland, Buda city leaders hope to give proposed wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) upgrades room to grow.
By a 7-0 vote June 24, the Buda City Council approved a resolution allowing the use of roughly eight combined acres of parkland ranging from City Park, Stagecoach Park and Garison Park in order to accommodate projects associated with a proposed WWTP expansion.
However, to use the parkland, Buda was required to hold a public hearing on the matter, per Texas Parks and Wildlife rules.
Under Chapter 26 of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Code, cities cannot use designated parkland for a project unless it’s determined there is no feasible alternatives and “all reasonable planning” is done to minimize any impact.
Marty Rumbaugh, an engineer at AECOM who has assisted Buda in the WWTP process, said all projects approved in the resolution were the “most reasonable and prudent option” for the city to take.
That included earmarking 1.1-acres of land in the new Garison Park site, located just north of the WWTP, to be used as a temporary staging and storage area for equipment. Rumbaugh said that site was chosen as it isn’t in the flood plain and wouldn’t disrupt ongoing construction at Buda City Park.
City leaders gave the green light for 3.32 acres within Stagecoach Park that will be used for a new effluent force main meant to funnel effluent to a proposed second discharge point.
In March 2018, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) approved a permit amendment for Buda’s WWTP upgrades, which included a second discharge site on a tributary along Plum Creek.
Rumbaugh said the force main consists of roughly 4 miles of pipeline that stretches from the WWTP to the tributary east of Interstate 35 near the Sunfield Development.
Using Stagecoach Park was the most feasible option as it prevented any disruptions to Main Street and Garison Road. Meanwhile, the city plans to allocate nearly an acre of land at City Park for the construction of flood protection and stormwater drainage improvements included with the WWTP upgrades.
Rumbaugh said those measures will be taken after the city has dealt with minor flooding problems near the WWTP site. While in-place stormwater measures did their job, Rumbaugh said there were times it was “very dicey.”
By going through a small part of City Park, Rumbaugh said the city can divert any storm water from impacting the plant and prevent any runoff from going into Onion Creek.