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Hays Free Press
Kyle, Texas
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February 8, 2017     Hays Free Press
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February 8, 2017
 

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χ + Page 4A Hays Free Press = February 8, 2017 in SAMANTHA SMITH news@haysfreepress.com While many Buda residents are recovering from the May 2015 flood, a $500,000 state grant is expected to help the city potentially mitigate future disastrous floods. According to city documents, the grant, which was authorized in August 2016 by the Texas Water Development Board (TWDB) for roughly $585,000, will be used to support construction of permanent Flood EmergencyWarning System (FEWS) installations along flood- prone roads in Buda. Buda City Engineer John Nett said Buda applied for the grant through the TWDB by identifying five areas that are highly susceptible to flooding. The five areas were "ranked on a priority basis," said Nett at the Jan. 17 council meeting. The estimated cost of installing the FEWS is $362,649.10. Buda will offer a 50 percent match, which totals $181,324.55. Buda City Manager Kenneth Williams said Jan. 17 money for the matching funds would have to come from the city's general fund as Buda did not include it the 2016-2017 fiscal year budget. Brian Lillibridge, Buda PROPOSED EARLY WARNING SYSTEMS • Onion Creek Bridge on RM 967 • Cole Springs Rd at RM 967 • Garlic Creek Culvert on RM 967 • Bluff Street at FM 2770 • Main Street at Bradfield Park. LOCATIONS water specialist, said in an emailed response that while the TWDB awarded Hays County a separate grant for an early warning flood system, the county's and city's system would be compatible with one another in order to share information at a faster rate. "These are separate systems, but the city is working with the Hays County Office of Emergency Management (HCOEM) to select equipment that will be compatible with and feed local data from Buda into the county-wide network that HCOEM is putting in place," Lillibridge said in the email. Liilibridge also said city staff has been working closely with HCOEM staff for "technical guidance and insight into FEWS equipment selection" to better equip both entities for flood mitigation collaboration in the future. "Localized flooding does occur but the reality is that the nature of flooding experienced in our area often ends up being a regional event," Lillibridge said. "This type of collaboration between the county and the city leverages individual efforts to benefit the greatest amount of Hays County residents possible." Lillibridge said Buda will be installing one FEWS with the automated signals digitally connected to it, which will send updated information such as precipitation, stream levels and water rise to a monitoring location. "The city is responsible for maintaining the equipment installed at the 5 locations within our city limits," Liliibridge said. "The goal is to have our equipment provide local area data to the publicly accessible flood information system that HCOEM is putting together which will be maintained by them." Council members approved the execution of the contract for the FEWS with the TWDB at the Jan 17 meeting. "I want to say congratulations on all your hard work," Council Member Eileen Altmiller told Nett at the meeting. It's unknown at this time when work on the installation of the system will commence. SAMANTHA SMITH news@haysfreepress.com Buda city leaders expressed concern regarding the city's continued support of Budafest at Tuesday night's Buda City Council meeting after members of the event's committee failed to show for a post- event presentation. Buda Tourism Director Lysa Gonzales said the presentation was lacking information due to a lack of communication with committee members Eileen Coniey and Bert Bronaugh. Gonzales said all attempts to contact the two had been fruitless. She said city staffwas able to get a copy of the food and sales vendor applications, and they were able to get through to some vendors who paid the registration fee of $100 or $125. Budafest had been canceled due to weather in December 2016 and was not rescheduled. However, some vendors complained they were not reimbursed their application fees. Gonzales said both applications are lacking in "reimbursement" language, but there was an apparent $40 credit for the 2017 event that was offered to vendors. Council member Eileen Altmiller opposed Buda being involved with the event in the future because of the lack of cooperation with committee members. "We feel a little betrayed by Budafest committee members for not communicating with city staff on this," AltmiUer said. City staff recommendations included halting involvement with the Budafest event in the future, said Buda City Manager Kenneth Williams. He added staff is "reluctant" to support the event in the future. "It's too bad they mined that for everyone," Altmiller said. The Hays Free Press attempted to speak with Bronaugh before the meeting, but he did not respond to before press time. Fluoride Vote: Set for November Continued from pg. 1A to the city's plan to re- introduce fluoride into the city's water system. Several residents who were there were also in support of fluoridation. Prior to the hearing, the city council went into executive session for roughly a 30 minute period before seeking to turn the issue into a referendum item. However, council members did not of- fer an explanation on the dais as to why they reached their decision. Despite the news, residents who came The Buda City Council voted 5-2 Tuesday to add the fluoride issue to the Nov. 17 election ballot. to voice their opinion on the matter opted to speak during the public hearing. Eighteen people, some of whom were not Buda residents, stayed to voice their disapprov- al of Buda adding fluo- ride to the water. Anthem Subdivision: Breaking ground this year Continued from pg. 1A "move-up" homes and he expects them to be priced at $300,000 and above. Pharis said the design team developed "street sections appropriate for the development," which includes bike lanes and wide sidewalks. Pharis said the design team also worked on matching the development with the regional character of the ~trea. "We don't want to force something that doesn't belong and doesn't match the character of the area," Pharis said. Along with a small mixed-use area near one of the development's parks, Pharis said developers are "already working" with Hays CISD to lock down a site for a potential elemen- tary school campus. Residents who attended the meeting, however, were concemed about water and wastewater service for the development, along with drainage issues and buffers to Mountain City. Wilson said the devel- opment has an agreement with Kyle to extend water and wastewater services to the subdivision. Within the agreement, Mountain City 150, LP would build at its own expense infrastructure to connect to Kyle's water and wastewater lines. It will also pay an advanced fee of approximately $2 mil- lion that Kyle will use for improvements to the city's wastewater plant. Utilities will be managed by a Municipal Utility Dis- trict (MUD), which was approved after property owners who voted within a special election for the district entered into a set- tlement following a voting issue during the Nov. 8 election. Wilson said the two property owners voted in favor of the MUD but he was "not sure" what had occurred in the voting. He added the property owners signed affidavits to state they voted in favor of the district. The development will have proposed detention ponds that are designed to detain 25- and 100-year storms, per Hays County requirements. Wilson said drainage was a concern and that engineers followed rules where downstream prop- erty owners cannot be inundated with dirty water during the pre-develop- ment phase. "There was a concern there could be flooding with more houses and roads," Wilson said. "Our engineers are aware of where the drainage is and what the rules are." Anthem will also harbor a 200-foot and 100-foot natural buffer, which was part of a development agreement W'flson entered with Motmtain City. Mountain City Mayor Phillip Taylor said Anthem is "consistent" on what was seen during the prelimi- nary design phase, which includes the buffers. He added the neighborhood was "smaller than original- ly planned." "The buffer zone be- tween us and them was negotiated out and they are sticking with that," Tay- lor said. "They are sticking with that." Taylor said he was happy to see the development is taking green space into consideration. Lionel Cardoza, who lives across from Anthem in the Arroyo Ranch, was leery of an influx of traffic to FM 150 as a result of the population growth. "Since we've been here, traffic on (FM) 150 has gotten worse and worse," Cardoza said. "My concem with Anthem is there's go- ing to be more people in this area and traffic is going to get worse." 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