MESSAGE FROM THE MAYOR: Burnet projects moving forward

The next Breakfast with the Mayor is 8 a.m. Thursday, Sept. 27, at Unshakable Grounds, 134 S. Main St. in Burnet. The public is invited to meet and discuss any issues they might have on their minds or to just chat about events going on in the city of Burnet. The free event is sponsored by the Burnet Chamber of Commerce.

While City Council and staff might feel as though there are not enough hours in the day for all the work that is going on, I realize that, sometimes, to the public, it seems things don’t move as quickly as they’d like.   Typically, as a government, we are restricted by time requirements, notices, and other things outside our control, not to mention that we take our jobs as stewards of the public’s money very seriously and a considerable amount of thought is put into the decisions that we make in spending it. We know citizens want to be informed, and one of the reasons we hold Breakfast with the Mayor and I write these messages is to work toward our goal of doing just that.

At the State of the Community this past March, I mentioned a number of projects that we were working on as well as things we have planned for the new fiscal year beginning in October. Now that we are nearing completion of the current fiscal year and looking toward a new one, I’ll endeavor to bring you up to date on some of those projects.

One of the things both accomplished and underway is Longoria Park (formerly known as Live Oak Park).  Infrastructure improvements to the park have included a playscape, a pavilion, paving, and recreational facilities. Yet to be done in the next fiscal year are the restrooms. The park will be complete then.

City staff has been working toward acquiring property for a walkway connection from Haley Nelson Park all the way to the YMCA. As of this month, all but one of the properties needed for that connection have been acquired. Once the final property is closed on, staff can begin to examine costs and needs to complete the project.

Last year, City Council allocated more money to streets than ever before. Completed in 2017-18 were Westfall, Lewis, and Kincheloe. Tate is nearing completion. Additional streets are included on the new year’s list, not the least of which is John W. Hoover Parkway (a portion of CR 340A) adjacent to Seton Highland Lakes Hospital. Crews are expected to begin this work in October.

Sewer line work required by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality that was begun last year is nearing completion, and the final leg of the required projects is slated to begin in the new year.

The Burnet Economic Development Corp., which works hand in hand with the city to accomplish economic growth in the community, worked last year to develop the Honey Creek Plaza property on U.S. 281 South by forging a development agreement with Taco Bell. The Burnet EDC continues the development of that property and currently has a development plan underway with two other businesses, which, if successful, are expected to be completed this year. Also begun last year and slated for completion this fiscal year is the restoration of the historic Badger Building. A contract has been finalized with Wedding Oak Winery of San Saba to occupy the space once the work is complete. Another exciting development is the development of the 21-acre tract that the Burnet EDC owns on Texas 29 East. Baylor Scott and White has committed to build a new clinic on that property.

City staff and members of City Council worked with architects last year to develop plans for a new police facility on U.S. 281 South next to Fire Station One. This work continues with plans to begin construction sometime this fiscal year.

Of course, these are just a few of the projects that the city and the EDC have tackled this year. We will have updates again at the 2019 State of the Community event, but, in the meantime, feel free to ask questions, attend the Breakfast with the Mayor, come to City Council meetings, or just contact your favorite council member.

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