More wastewater services coming to Buda 

By Sahar Chmais
A wastewater utility service agreement was approved by Buda City Council for a 16-acre multi-family project. This project could mean more wastewater services extended throughout Buda.
Approximately one year ago, the city adopted a wholesale agreement with the Guadalupe-Blanco River Authority (GBRA) to provide properties on the east side of Buda with wastewater services. The city would act as a retail provider and GBRA would act as the wholesale provider, taking the flow to the Sunfield wastewater treatment plant.
On Oct. 19, Buda City Council approved the first project under that agreement, which will provide the wastewater service to a property on the bend of FM 2001, being developed by Alliance Realty Partners LLC. This property is in the extra-territorial jurisdiction (ETJ).
Buda pursued the agreement with GBRA for two reasons, said Micah Grau, deputy city manager. The first advantage, serves as an environmental benefit, by decreasing the proliferation of septic tanks, which require a lot of maintenance and can fail, leaching into the city’s water systems.
The second benefit is to secure service areas on the east side of Buda. This will prevent other service providers who may not have a good reputation or proper resources to provide quality service, Grau said.
The city will pay an impact fee of $246,000 to GBRA, and the developer will reimburse Buda for that payment. GBRA owns the pipes, and the city will not be in charge of maintenance.
However, Buda is in charge of the water meters. Customers will pay an ongoing service fee of $6.20 per 1,000 gallons used; $5.64 per 1,000 gallons goes to GBRA, and the rest will be to cover the city’s cost for testing and annual calibration of meter requirements.
In the short-term, this agreement will provide a service to the Alliance Realty Partners development, but council sees potential in the expansion of the service to other properties in the ETJ.
Opportunities for additional service in the area is a reason that the city set up the agreement with GBRA generically, so that it can be amended in the future to take on other properties, Grau said.
The city wants to be able to put in infrastructure and be strategic for what may come in the future, he added.

 

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Sahar Chmais holds a bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Texas at Austin. She has been covering cities in Hays County for one year, touching on residents' struggles and successes, city issues, COVID-19 and more. Prior to reporting on the local spectrum, Sahar reported for a national news organization, covering gun violence. Sahar enjoys working as a local reporter because she gets to work with real people and their stories.

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