Liberty Hill City Administrator Paul Brandenburg gave a presentation outlining the growth in the city as well as upcoming plans and future projects at the April 27 chamber of commerce luncheon.
“If you don’t manage the growth, the growth is going to manage you,” Brandenburg said at the luncheon.
Planning and projects
Phase 1 of the city’s new comprehensive plan is now complete. It included the launching of a comprehensive plan website, a community assessment, development proposals and surveys. As of late April, city staff is two months into the Phase 2 of the plan, which explores future growth, land use and parks.
The city’s last comprehensive plan was completed in 2014, Brandenburg said. The new comprehensive plan is anticipated to reach completion by the end of 2023.
Work on the Downtown Strategic Plan—which is aimed to reinvest in the downtown area—is underway, and it should also reach completion by the end of the year.
In January, Kimley-Horn was selected to work on the City Park Mini Masterplan, which is expected to be completed in August. The $48,000 masterplan will focus on redeveloping current city parks and searching for future park space in other areas.
City staff is working on developing a new city facility, Brandenburg said, which will likely be put in a bond package for spring 2024. The proposed facility would house the police department and municipal court—which would serve the dual role of a council chambers and additional meeting space, according to the city.
Also underway in the city’s Capital Improvement Plan, which in the past was only geared toward water and wastewater. This plan will be geared toward areas such as vehicles, facilities, equipment, and information and technology, and it is scheduled to be completed in May.
Water and wastewater
The city will be working on creating a Water and Wastewater Masterplan along with other projects to help Liberty Hill’s capacity.
Design and engineering has reached completion for the South Wastewater Interceptor project, and the construction contract for the Community Lift Station project has been awarded. Both of these projects will increase the wastewater capacity, allowing the city to handle it better, Brandenburg said.
As for water projects, the city is currently redrilling four wells that were previously closed down. Through these projects, the city is hoping to get more water.
“I want to be able to have a diversified portfolio of water and not just in one basket,” Brandenburg said. “We’re just trying to wean ourselves off that reliance.”
The city is paying for three projects out of its general fund budget, which include:
- Stonewall extension: The east entrance to the Liberty Parke neighborhood will be realigned with the existing traffic signal at Stonewall Parkway along SH 29 to ensure residents can safely enter and exit.
- Bailey Lane alignment: Loop 332 will be realigned to Bailey Lane, and traffic lights will be implemented, allowing residents to safely enter and exit onto SH 29.
- Main street roundabout: The roundabout at the CR 279 and Loop 332 intersection is aimed to improve operational efficiency by increasing traffic flow, slowing down traffic through downtown and decreasing vehicular pollution, in turn making the intersection safer.
On April 12, council approved three projects for consideration in Williamson County’s potential road and park bond election in November. Council recommended the following projects to be included in county’s November 2023 Road Bond: Southwest Bypass (all phases); Long Run Road; and an extra mile of pathways to connect county paths to Liberty Hill.
The bypass would allow commuters to go around Hwy. 29 as well as act as a designated truck route for the city. The Long Run Road project stretching from CR 214 to US 183 will consist of widening the existing lanes and constructing a new roadway, according to city documents.
Economic development planning
In March, the city wrapped up its Economic Development Corporation Strategic Plan, which is a three-year action plan to further Liberty Hill’s development.
Year one is foundational, focusing on building effective organizational processes, identify marketable, shovel-ready sites, create needed community response and outreach information and other objectives, said Mary Poche, Liberty Hill economic development executive director.
Liberty Hill will also be working on becoming a Home Rule City, which allows cities to manage at their own level with minimal interference from the state. Because Liberty Hill’s population has grown over 5,000, the Texas Constitution allows the city to establish its own rules for municipal government by adopting a Home Rule Charter, according to city documents.
Council voted to establish a Home Rule Charter commission in late March.
“I’m very excited for the future for the city of Liberty Hill,” Liberty Hill ISD Superintendent Steve Snell said.