Buda anticipates new wave of reopening

By Megan Wehring

BUDA — Many businesses in Texas have been allowed to reopen to 75% capacity for nearly a week, per Governor Greg Abbott’s Executive Order. Most Buda city facilities are set to reopen on Monday, Sept. 28, after being shut down for months. 

According to a Sept. 16 news release, the city of Buda facilities that will reopen include: Buda City Hall, Public Safety Building, Buda Public Library and Notary Public Services. The Visitor Center remains closed to the public.

Preventative measures that were taken during the original reopening in May will be in effect. Sneeze shields have been placed at reception and library circulation desks. Hand sanitizer stations are also set up, along with markers on the floor for six-foot social distancing. 

While staff personnel are back in the office, communications director David Marino said meetings will still be held utilizing a virtual platform to prevent staff from gathering in a confined space. 

City employees are required to take their temperatures before reporting to duty. Photos courtesy of the city of Buda.

The City is also holding all business meetings virtually, unless necessary,” Marino said. “Employees are required to take their temperatures before reporting to duty. Thermometer stations are set up for employees at all city facilities.”

Back in August, Buda City Council also approved a contract with CVS Health to provide on-site, weekly COVID-19 testing for staff. This is through the CVS Return Ready program which is funded through the Coronavirus Relief Fund (CARES Act).

Local, smaller businesses took a major hit when the COVID-19 pandemic came through. The city of Buda has continued to find new ways to help businesses get back on their feet. The Small Business Task Force, formed in March, helped launch the Still Budaful Stimulus Program in April and then the Still Budaful Stimulus 2.0 in June. 

The total contributions between the City of Buda and Buda EDC amounted to $380,000, allowing eligible businesses to apply,” Marino said. “Over $300,000 in grants was awarded to Buda businesses. … The Buda Economic Development Corporation (Buda EDC) added an extra $250,000 in funds to provide relief to Buda businesses in need. Still Budaful Stimulus 2.0 was an expansion of the original program and helped businesses who were not eligible in the first round of the stimulus plan.”

The city is looking to launch a third Still Budaful program for businesses soon. 

While the number of active cases in Hays County is dwindling, Marino advised the Buda community to continue taking preventative measures to keep everyone safe.

Social distancing markers are placed in city buildings. Photos courtesy of the city of Buda.

It is still important to wear a face covering and maintain social distancing to keep the community safe,” Marino said. “If you are sick, please stay home. The virus is still here, and we ask that citizens take all the necessary health precautions to keep themselves and others safe.”

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About Author

Megan Wehring graduated from Texas State University in May 2020 with a bachelor's degree in journalism and mass communication. Wehring has reported for the Hays Free Press/News-Dispatch for a year, covering all things local. This includes city council meetings, town events, education and human interest stories. Previously, Wehring worked at KTSW FM-89.9 (Texas State University's official radio station) for two consecutive years. She was a news reporter, assistant news director and monthly segment producer during her time at KTSW. Wehring is passionate about the local reporter aspect. With a heart for storytelling, she believes that journalists are equipped to share the stories that are most important to the community.

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