Editor’s Note: This story has been updated to reflect the company’s name is WSB, as well as clarify that the Onion Creek Trail was not part of the 2014 Bond projects.
By C.J. Vetter
Buda – The Buda City Council selected WSB to be the Bond Program Manager for the 2021 Buda Bond, worth $89.66 million. The bond package is focused on improving transportation and recreation offered in Buda.
The April 19 presentation to the city council was delivered by City Project Manager Kenny Crawford and WSB Project Manager Jay Kennedy. WSB was the highest-scoring management company that applied to manage the bond, scoring an 89 and beating out the other five companies that applied.
Both propositions included in the 2021 bond put aside a total of $2.2 million for bond management services, which would cover the pay for the project managers. Services provided by the management firm would include the monitoring and projection of project schedules, monitor budgets, as well as the strategizing of public engagement, coordination of utility conflicts and right-of-ways, and the coordination of design professionals.
“This is 2 million dollars spent to handle 90 million dollars well,” said Evan Ture, council member. “I just want to emphasize how critical this is.”
The motion to select WSB passed without any opposition, but there has been some hesitation as to why it took over 100 days before WSB was selected. The projected timeframe for the bill implementation is six years (by 2028). Mayor Lee Urbanovsky stressed the importance of time and efficiency.
“It concerns me that it has taken 168 days to get here. I don’t have a whole lot of patience, and voters have even less. Literally, the Tuesday after we passed the package, I had calls asking me ‘when’s my road gonna get fixed, or built,” Urbanovsky said. “It bothers me every day that we’re still working on the 2014 bond now, and I understand the process. People on the street do not.”
While the 2014 Bond projects are nearing completion, there are some that are still ongoing. The Garlic Creek Trail Phase I project has not been completed and will be addressed with the Phase II portion, according to Buda Director of Communications LaMarriol Smith. City Park is not fully complete, as the city is addressing some deficiencies, and the Project Area 1B (West Goforth Drainage Project) is still underway.