By C.J. Vetter
BUDA – The Buda City Council continues to workshop the possible upcoming Public Improvement District (PID) with Milestone Community Builders.
At its last meeting on May 1, the city council received numerous public testimonies and made further progress on green lighting the proposal.
PIDs are a financing and development tool provided to cities by the state of Texas and are created in an area within the corporate limits or extraterritorial jurisdictions (ETJ) of a city. Property owners that would benefit from the PID pay for the improvements after assessments are made. The payments made by the property owners help fund and pay for the PID without increasing the spending of the city and are brought before the city by a private landowner.
The development of the proposed PID began in 2018 and was brought to the council unsolicited by Milestone Community Builders. The primary purpose of the project is to help build a connecting road between FM 967 and FM 1626, alongside further residential, commercial and park areas. The project plan also allocates space to build emergency service and school facilities in addition to the construction of a roundabout.
“The first and largest benefit is the transportation network improvement,” said Garrett Martin, Milestone Community Builders president. “This road has been on the plans since 2006, that’s when it was added to the transportation master plan. Since that time frame, very little to nothing has been done to take meaningful steps to build that road, but with this project, in one fell swoop they get the right of way and the funding, and a diligent team of project managers to build that road. That’s key benefit number one.”
Since Milestone brought the project to the council, they have made numerous adjustments and attended multiple meetings and workshops to help suit and tailor their project to the needs of the community. Plans have been formed to preserve heritage trees alongside local flora, and factors such as aquifer recharge zones and wells have been included. There has also been work done to ensure that the project falls in the master plan of the city and that it will connect to pre-existing trails as well.
“We had three people talk at the last hearing, and in prior hearings, we’ve had more than that,” Martin said. “Most of the concerns in the most recent ones have been in timing, of course there’s been other ones, but we’ve had worked with them.”
One of the most pressing issues that have expedited the process is the plan to extend SH45. To avoid future traffic congestion from the new four-road highway, the connector will help disperse traffic from one road to two. The city has also helped in reviewing the plans through third parties.
“So initially, the community was concerned about the timing, and I think it was rightly so, there’s a lot of congestion, and we weren’t sure we could build as early as it is in the process as we are able to, so we were cautious about that,” Martin said. “We’ve made a commitment to building that road as soon as we can.”
Milestone aims to have the project up for approval within the next 60 days, with the next meeting this May 17. For more information, you can view their last presentation on May 3 at www.ci.buda.tx.us/390/Council-Board-Commission-Meetings