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THE BIG PICTURE
(City of Buda Weekly Newsletter)
Week of Jan. 4, 2021
In this Issue:
  • COVID-19 Cases Continue to Rise/COVID Hospitalizations Rising in Our Region
  • COVID-19 Vaccine Information
  • Curative COVID-19 Testing Still Available in Buda and Hays County
  • Main Street Improvement Project Update
  • Buda City Council Adopts Ordinance to Modify Speed Limit on FM 1626 Within City Limits
  • City of Buda Receives Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting
  • Buda Parks, Recreation & Open Master Plan Public Survey - Survey Open Until Jan. 19
  • City of Buda Holiday Activities Survey - Survey Open Until Jan. 31
  • Christmas Tree Recycling
  • Holiday Lights Recycling
  • City of Buda Enforcement Measures Related To Governor's Orders GA-29 & GA-32
  • City of Buda Annual Sewer Averaging
  • Water Smart Customer Portal
  • Give Your Irrigation System A Break
  • Stage 1 Water Restrictions - Effective Monday, Aug. 24
  • COVID-19 Hays County Resources
  • COVID-19 Hotline
  • COVID-19 Dashboard
  • COVID-19 Updates on City of Buda Website
  • Online/Phone Options for Court Defendants
  • Pay By Phone Automated System
  • City of Buda E-Billing
  • City of Buda Job Opportunities
  • Upcoming Meetings
COVID-19 cases are on the rise across Hays County. Please continue to stay vigilant and take the necessary precautions to protect your loved ones, our healthcare workers, and the community.

There are three important ways to help slow the spread:
  • Wear a mask to protect yourself and others.
  • Stay at least 6 feet from others who do not live with you, and avoid crowds.
  • Wash your hands with soap and water for 20 seconds or use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.

The number of COVID-19 hospitalizations are also escalating in our Trauma Service Area (TSA) which could lead to business restrictions per the Governor's Executive Order GA-32 (https://www.ci.buda.tx.us/DocumentCenter/View/8542/EO-GA-32).

Restrictions are triggered when a local TSA has seven consecutive days in which the number of COVID-19 hospitalized patients exceeds 15% of total hospital capacity. This would trigger reduced occupancy to 50% at most businesses and bars closing. Buda is located in TSA O, which encompasses Bastrop, Blanco, Burnet, Caldwell, Fayette, Hays, Lee, Llano, San Saba, Travis, and Williamson counties.

The Texas Department of State Health Services has a hospital dashboard (http://bit.ly/3hSUhcX) that shows daily hospitalization data for TSAs. Click on the "hospitals regional" tab and then scroll to Trauma Service Area O to follow COVID hospitalization percentages in our region.
COVID-19 Vaccine Information From
Texas Department of State Health Services
As part of the State of Texas vaccination plan, Texas continues to receive doses of the Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines. The State's plan involves the use of registered medical providers such as medical clinics, pharmacies and hospitals to disseminate the vaccine. The local health dept. and emergency management divisions (county or city) are not part of this process.

If you are in Phase 1A or 1B, which includes healthcare workers, first responders, and Texans over the age of 65, please visit the Texas COVID-19 Vaccine Provider Locations (bit.ly/2WSDFZ2) to see if and where you might be able to get a vaccine. Remember, your ability to get a vaccine today or this week will depend on vaccine availability at your provider’s office, clinic, or facility. Please call ahead to your medical provider.

For more information on the vaccine visit dshs.texas.gov/coronavirus/immunize/vaccine.aspx
Curative COVID-19 Testing Still Available in Buda
By Appointment
COVID-19 testing is available in Buda through Curative! The testing kiosk is set up in the parking lot at Main Street and China Street near the public restrooms across from Main Street Dental. Curative is offering testing by appointment only until further notice. Curative is also now billing insurance but there is no out-of-pocket cost to the individual being tested. Testing continues to be free to anyone without insurance.


𝐂𝐎𝐕𝐈𝐃-𝟏𝟗 𝐌𝐨𝐛𝐢𝐥𝐞 𝐓𝐞𝐬𝐭 𝐒𝐢𝐭𝐞 𝐢𝐧 𝐁𝐮𝐝𝐚 
*𝐏𝐚𝐫𝐤𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐥𝐨𝐭 𝐚𝐭 𝐌𝐚𝐢𝐧 𝐒𝐭𝐫𝐞𝐞𝐭 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐂𝐡𝐢𝐧𝐚 𝐒𝐭𝐫𝐞𝐞𝐭 (𝐧𝐞𝐚𝐫 𝐩𝐮𝐛𝐥𝐢𝐜 𝐫𝐞𝐬𝐭𝐫𝐨𝐨𝐦𝐬) 𝐚𝐜𝐫𝐨𝐬𝐬 𝐟𝐫𝐨𝐦 𝐌𝐚𝐢𝐧 𝐒𝐭𝐫𝐞𝐞𝐭 𝐃𝐞𝐧𝐭𝐚𝐥 
𝐁𝐮𝐝𝐚 
𝟗 𝐚.𝐦. - 𝟓 𝐩.𝐦. - 𝟕 𝐃𝐚𝐲𝐬 𝐚 𝐖𝐞𝐞𝐤!

For questions please reach out to Curative at 1-888-702-9042. You can also reach them by email at support@curative.com.

Other Testing Sites in Hays County below.
Main Street Improvement Project Update
Final touches are being made on the Main Street Improvement project. Cox Construction has been cleaning up the project site this week, removing all silt fencing, etc. Permanent road striping was applied on Jan. 4. Most of the work has been completed.
Buda City Council Adopts Ordinance to Modify
Speed Limit on FM 1626 Within City Limits
The Buda City Council adopted an ordinance to modify the speed limit on FM 1626 within the Buda City Limits. This will change the posted speed limit to 55 miles per hour from the temporary construction work zone speed limit of 45 miles per hour. Meanwhile, a reduced speed limit of 35 miles per hour will be in effect for both northbound and southbound traffic on FM 1626 during school zone times while class in session at Elm Grove Elementary. The activation of school zone flashers is coordinated between the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) and the Hays Consolidated Independent School District.
 
TxDOT requested the change after they completed an updated speed study for FM 1626. Speed limits are set through an engineering study that reflects the safe and reasonable speed of the majority of drivers on a particular roadway. In addition to speed checks, crash history, turning movements, and roadway conditions are also considered during the study. Once drivers become familiar with the modified 55 mph speed limit, TxDOT will perform additional speed checks to see if any further speed limit adjustment is required.
 
While the City’s adoption of an ordinance is allowed to set the speed limit along a roadway in the state highway system, TxDOT reserves the ability to complete an internal review of traffic control devices to ensure compliance with TxDOT regulations found in the Transportation Code and the Manual of Uniform Traffic Control Devices.
 
The diagram below denotes the area of the speed limit change on FM 1626.
The City of Buda is proud to announce that it has once again received the Government Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada (GFOA) Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting (CAFR). The City received the Certificate of Achievement for its comprehensive annual financial report for the 2019 Fiscal Year.
 
The Certificate of Achievement is the highest form of recognition in the area of governmental accounting and financial reporting, and its attainment represents a significant accomplishment by a government and its management.  

“It’s an honor to once again receive this award from the GFOA,” said Finance Director June Ellis. “It’s a testament to the hard work and dedication of the entire Finance team towards maintaining excellence in the City’s financial management.“

“The City of Buda is once again pleased in being recognized with the Government Finance Officers Association Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting,” said City Manager Kenneth Williams. “The award recognizes our exemplary audit financial results for fiscal year 2019. I would like to thank Finance Director June Ellis and the Finance Department for their excellent work. Likewise, I would also like to recognize the work of the City of Buda’s Audit committee led by Mayor Pro-Tem Evan Ture, Councilmember Terry Cummings and Councilmember Monica Davidson for their oversight of the audit process. The financial well being of the City of Buda has been a strong point and City Council and Management will work diligently to insure that it remains in a positive pecuniary position.” 

The CAFR prepared by the City of Buda Finance department has been judged by an impartial panel to meet the high standards of the program, which includes demonstrating a constructive “spirit of full disclosure” to clearly communicate its financial story and motivate potential users and user groups to read the CAFR. 
Buda Parks, Recreation & Open Space
Master Plan Public Survey
You still have time to take the City's Parks, Recreation, & Open Space Master Plan Survey. We have extended the date to Tuesday, January 10. The City of Buda needs your help and input! The City is updating its Park, Recreation, and Open Space Master Plan. This document helps Buda set priorities for parks, recreation facilities, trails, and greenspaces for the next 10 years.

Please take some time to answer this survey about parks and recreation in Buda in the link below. The survey will take approximately 10 to 15 minutes. Encourage neighbors and other Buda area friends to participate in this important survey as well!

Instructions: Please answer the questionnaire with YOUR opinions. If your spouse or others in your family would like to complete a questionnaire, the same survey can be taken online. For each question, check the one box that is closest to your opinion unless instructions say, “Check all that apply.”

All survey answers will remain confidential and your information will not be sold or used for solicitation.

As we move into 2021, the City of Buda wants to know what you liked and what we could improve on in respect to our recent holiday activities. This short survey is intended for ANYONE who attended an aspect of the following events, regardless of residency status: Budafest, Festival of Trees, and Trail of Lights. This survey is 100% anonymous. 


The deadline to complete the survey is January 31, 2021.

For additional feedback, please contact Shelby Fletcher at 512-523-1081 or by email at sfletcher@ci.buda.tx.us.
Curious about how to dispose of your Christmas tree? Texas Disposal Systems (TDS) will pick-up unflocked Christmas trees curbside on regularly scheduled green waste pick-up days through Jan. 31, 2021. Trees must be clear of décor, cut into 4’ pieces or less and set outside at the curb. They will be brought to a collection station and ground into mulch.

For more information on Christmas tree disposal please visit the TDS website at: https://www.texasdisposal.com/christmas-tree-recycling/
The City of Buda is here to help you recycle any of your old, broken, or unused holiday lights! You have until January 10 to stop by the Buda Public Library to drop off your holiday lights. Please remove all clips, cardboard or any other material so that you are only turning in the string of lights. No compact fluorescent or other light bulbs can be accepted through this program.

You may drop the lights at a bin located near the outdoor book drop on the side of City Hall. The lights will be recycled through a vendor for proper disposal.
City of Buda Enforcement Measures Related To
Governor's Orders GA-29 & GA-32
As COVID-19 cases continue to rise in Buda and Hays County, we want to remind citizens and Buda establishments that there are still restrictions in place per Governor orders GA-29 and GA-32.

The Governor's full orders below:

The City of Buda continues to monitor for violations of the Governor’s orders and responds to reports of violations received from the public, etc.

Under Executive Order GA 32, most businesses may operate at no more than 75% of the total listed occupancy, including Restaurants. Patrons and staff must wear masks except when eating or drinking while seated. Bars or similar establishments may offer on-premise services at up to 50% of the total listed occupancy. Patrons at bars or similar establishments may eat or drink only while seated. Masks are to be worn at all other times.

If the number of COVID-19 hospitalized patients as a percentage exceeds 15% of the available capacity in Hays County for seven consecutive days, the occupation limit will be lowered and additional restrictions will apply. So far, this has not been the case in Hays County. . A current list of areas with high hospitalizations is maintained at www.dshs.texas.gov/ga3031.

City of Buda COVID Enforcement measures, issued for non-compliance of Governor Abbotts’s GA-29 Executive Order for Facial Coverings, include:
1st Offense - Verbal Warning
2nd - Notice to Appear Citation
  • This citation notifies the recipient of their violation and municipal court appearance date/time.
  • If found guilty, the City of Buda Municipal Court judge makes the final determination of the official fine amount, not to exceed $250.

According to the latest numbers from the Hays County Health Department, Buda has over 250 positive COVID-19 cases. The latest number of COVID cases in Buda and Hays County can be found on the City’s website at www.ci.buda.tx.us/coronavirusinformation.

It is a reminder that we are still in a global pandemic. Please continue to stay vigilant and take the necessary precautions to protect your loved ones, our healthcare workers, and the community. Together we can make a difference.

There are three important ways to help slow the spread:
  • Wear a mask to protect yourself and others.
  • Stay at least 6 feet from others who do not live with you, and avoid crowds.
  • Wash your hands with soap and water for 20 seconds or use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.

“COVID-19 cases in Hays County have dramatically spiked since Thanksgiving. The City of Buda has seen an increase of over 200 new cases in this same period. There are many families in Buda currently fighting this virus and many more in quarantine due to exposure. Pandemic fatigue is only one of many new terms we are learning through this experience. 10 months is a long time, but we need to stay vigilant with wearing masks, washing hands and social distancing.”

As the holidays approach please consider celebrating virtually or with the people in your household. This poses the lowest risk for spread. Travel may increase your chance of spreading and getting COVID-19. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) continues to recommend postponing travel and staying home. For additional recommendations/information from the CDC please visit https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html. For information on holiday celebrations and small gatherings from the CDC please visit https://www.cdc.gov/.../daily-life-coping/holidays.html.
City of Buda Annual Sewer Averaging
The City of Buda conducts its annual wastewater rate averaging every year from November through February. By reducing your water consumption and fixing leaks during this period, you can reduce the amount charged over the proceeding 12 months for the wastewater portion of your bill. Because there is no meter on your wastewater line, the City utilizes wastewater averaging during the winter months when outdoor water usage is at its lowest. We take
the average of the 3 lowest usage months during this 4 month period to determine your wastewater charges for the next year. The less water that is used during this period, the more you will save on the wastewater portion of your bill.

𝙂𝙤𝙛𝙤𝙧𝙩𝙝 𝙒𝙖𝙩𝙚𝙧 𝘾𝙪𝙨𝙩𝙤𝙢𝙚𝙧𝙨 will need to supply the City of Buda Utilities Department with water usage for November & December 2020 and January & February 2021. The new sewer average billing will go out in March and is due on April 10. The sewer charge will stay the same until next year when the City averages again.

𝐐𝐮𝐞𝐬𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧𝐬? 𝐏𝐥𝐞𝐚𝐬𝐞 𝐜𝐨𝐧𝐭𝐚𝐜𝐭 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐂𝐢𝐭𝐲 𝐨𝐟 𝐁𝐮𝐝𝐚 𝐔𝐭𝐢𝐥𝐢𝐭𝐢𝐞𝐬 𝐃𝐞𝐩𝐚𝐫𝐭𝐦𝐞𝐧𝐭 𝐚𝐭 𝟓𝟏𝟐-𝟐𝟗𝟓-𝟖𝟖𝟒𝟓.
𝐇𝐨𝐰 𝐜𝐚𝐧 𝐈 𝐤𝐞𝐞𝐩 𝐮𝐩 𝐰𝐢𝐭𝐡 𝐦𝐲 𝐰𝐚𝐭𝐞𝐫 𝐜𝐨𝐧𝐬𝐮𝐦𝐩𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧 𝐞𝐚𝐜𝐡 𝐦𝐨𝐧𝐭𝐡?

You can register your account (for free) on the Water Smart Customer Portal. All you need is your account ID and your zip code. By signing up on the portal, you can set water usage alerts, leak alerts, keep up with your monthly usage and more!

Water Smart Customer Portal Instructional Video

Register Your Account on the Water Smart Customer Portal
Give Your Irrigation System A Break
This the perfect time of year to give your irrigation systems a break. Here a few reasons to pull back on the watering.

  • Plants are preparing for dormancy. This means they don’t take in as much water.
  • Roots continue to grow at a snail’s pace during dormancy. Apply mulch to conserve existing soil moisture and help protect plant roots from freezing temperatures.
  • The cooler, wetter weather is usually sufficient for our soon-to-be-dormant lawns. Any additional irrigation — especially during certain times of the day — only encourages fungus growth.
(Tips above shared from SAWS - San Antonio Water System)

As a reminder, the City of Buda is still in Stage 1 Drought Restrictions. You can find more information about drought restrictions and water conservation below.👇
Stage 1 Water Restrictions
Effective Monday, Aug. 24, 2020
Effective Monday, Aug. 24, 2020, Stage 1 Water Restrictions will go into effect for City of Buda water customers in accordance with the City’s adopted Water Resource Management and Drought Response Ordinance. This is due to the lack of consistent precipitation, and higher than normal demands on our water production system.

Under Stage 1, irrigation with hose-end (sprinkler attached to a hose) and automatic sprinkler systems is restricted to twice per week. Irrigation with handheld bucket, handheld hose, soaker hose, or drip irrigation system is allowed any day and at any time. Violation of the ordinance could result in a fine of up to $2,000 per offense and a surcharge on the customer’s utility bill.

𝐈𝐫𝐫𝐢𝐠𝐚𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧 𝐰𝐢𝐭𝐡 𝐡𝐨𝐬𝐞-𝐞𝐧𝐝 (𝐬𝐩𝐫𝐢𝐧𝐤𝐥𝐞𝐫 𝐚𝐭𝐭𝐚𝐜𝐡𝐞𝐝 𝐭𝐨 𝐚 𝐡𝐨𝐬𝐞) 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐚𝐮𝐭𝐨𝐦𝐚𝐭𝐢𝐜 𝐬𝐩𝐫𝐢𝐧𝐤𝐥𝐞𝐫 𝐬𝐲𝐬𝐭𝐞𝐦𝐬
Twice per week on designated day; prohibited between the hours of 10:00am and 7:00 pm
  • Odd-numbered residential: Wednesday and Saturday
  • Even-numbered residential: Thursday and Sunday
  • Commercial, mixed use and multi-family: Tuesday and Friday
  • It is recommended that outdoor watering be limited to one of the permitted watering days each week to promote conservation

𝐈𝐫𝐫𝐢𝐠𝐚𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧 𝐰𝐢𝐭𝐡 𝐡𝐚𝐧𝐝𝐡𝐞𝐥𝐝 𝐛𝐮𝐜𝐤𝐞𝐭, 𝐡𝐚𝐧𝐝𝐡𝐞𝐥𝐝 𝐡𝐨𝐬𝐞, 𝐬𝐨𝐚𝐤𝐞𝐫 𝐡𝐨𝐬𝐞, 𝐨𝐫 𝐝𝐫𝐢𝐩 𝐢𝐫𝐫𝐢𝐠𝐚𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧 𝐬𝐲𝐬𝐭𝐞𝐦
  • Allowed any day and at any time

For more information on Stage 1 restrictions and water conservation tips please our website.👇

Hays County has provided a list of resources for residents who have lost their jobs or need food, mental health support, or other assistance due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Hays County has a COVID-19 hotline. The number is 512-393-5525 and it is operational Monday through Friday from 8 AM to 5 PM.
(The information coming from Hays County will continue to change. Please follow Hays County at www.haysinformed.com)

An online dashboard provides the public with a current count and other statistics related to COVID-19 cases in Hays County in near real-time.

The data on the dashboard shows a snapshot of COVID-19 related information for the County, as well as the number of active and recovered cases per City.
 
For example, the public can see the current number of confirmed cases as of that day. The data includes the cases considered active or in recovery, along with the number of tests administered. The data is also available in map format.
 
County residents may visit

You can also find the dashboard on the City of Buda's website at www.ci.buda.tx.us/coronavirusinformation.
As a reminder, you can visit the City's website at www.ci.buda.tx.us/coronavirusinformation for the latest on COVID-19.
New Online/Phone Options for Court Defendants
The City has several new options for court defendants:


  • Online Case Resolution (InSite) – The City of Buda currently uses some of the options offered through Online Case Resolution, but this upgrade will allow the City to enable additional features like Court Dismissals and Court Scheduling. Basically, any service the City offers on-site will now also be offered online. 
  • Interactive Voice Response (IVR) – Municipal Court defendants will be able to call 1-866-311-9322 to pay on citations over the phone. This is a new option being offered by the City.
  • Tyler Notify – The City has been using notifications by phone call for a while, and now we have the ability to use text messaging at no cost to the City.
Pay By Phone Automated System
The City of Buda has launched a way for customers to pay bills by phone. You will be able to call 1-866-279-0787 and pay through an automated system over the phone.

  • Save postage by paying your bill by phone.
  • Access your updated account instantly.
  • Hear real-time balances, payment amounts, and due dates
  • Enter your information securely through an automated system
City of Buda E-Billing
The City of Buda is giving you the option to go paperless with e-billing. You can sign up online at https://www.municipalonlinepayments.com/budatx Check out the video above for instructions on how to sign up!
City of Buda
Job Opportunities
Interested in joining our team? Check out our latest employment opportunities.

Upcoming Meetings
Thank you for subscribing to "The Big Picture" weekly newsletter! It's a "Budaful" way to keep up with the latest City news.

Sincerely,

City of Buda