Infrastructure upgrades approved for historic Pflugerville neighborhood

Image description
$3.1M in improvements
Image description
Infrastructure upgrades approved for historic Pflugerville neighborhood
Pflugerville’s historic Colored Addition subdivision is in line to receive approximately $3.1 million of improvements during the coming years.

A comprehensive report outlining the property across from Pflugerville High School on West Pecan Street was evaluated, and future land-use amendments were passed by Pflugerville City Council 7-0. Upgrades to infrastructure on the property, which includes houses, a church, cemeteries, vacant land and a day care, will be added to the capital improvement projects list for funding in future years.

“This has been a long time coming,” Pflugerville City Council Member Rudy Metayer said. “When this issue was brought up many, many years ago, [residents of the Pflugerville Colored Addition] had no one to talk to. And frankly, no one listened to what they had to say. What we are doing right now speaks volumes about Pflugerville.”

The Pflugerville Colored Addition was designated property for black workers in Travis County who worked in the Pflugerville cotton industry and the ice factory, according to the Texas State Historical Association. Black workers were not allowed to move into town.

The community, which included no more than six families at one time, built St. Mary’s Baptist Church in 1910 and St. Matthew’s Missionary Church a decade later.

St. Mary’s cemetery, located west of St. Mary’s church, was started for the burial of black and Mexican residents, according to the Texas State Historical Association.

Pflugerville Planning Director Emily Barron presented information about the current state of the property, which included eight different land uses, a water and drainage structure that failed to meet Texas Commission on Environmental Quality standards, and roadway and access problems.

Barron said funding could come through several different options, including the Clean Water State Revolving Fund, the Economically Distressed Areas Program, tax increment reinvestment zone, public improvement districts and others, such as help from the Pflugerville Community Development Corp. She also stressed the figure of $3.1 million is an estimate.

With the amendment of the future land-use plan, the city will now move on toward funding options and add it to the capital improvement plan. The city is also researching other opportunities for historic designation. Currently there are two historic markers on the property for the Santa Maria Cemetery and St. Mary’s Baptist Church.

Future steps will include infrastructure improvements, park development and a new street that would bisect Pflugerville ISD property between Caldwells Lane and Swenson Farms Boulevard.

City leaders stressed the project will move forward over time.

“I’ve seen that area grow and develop and change,” said Pflugerville Mayor Victor Gonzales, a lifelong resident of the city. “I would agree it is long overdue. Ask the residents, the neighbors, the church members and business owners to exercise a little patience. It does take a little while.”
By Joe Warner
Joe Warner is executive editor of Community Impact Newspaper. He previously served as managing editor for Central Texas and senior editor of the flagship Round Rock, Pflugerville and Hutto newspaper. He came to Central Texas from Metro Detroit, where he was editor and general manager of several daily and weekly publications. He is the former president of the Michigan Press Association and was on the MPA board of directors for nine years.


Dr. Molly Lopez is the director of the Texas Institute for Excellence in Mental Health and also serves as a research associate professor at the Steve Hicks School of Social Work at The University of Texas at Austin. (Designed by Stephanie Torres/Community Impact Newspaper)
Q&A: Mental health expert talks emotional well-being, building resiliency for the 2020-21 school year

According to Dr. Molly Lopez, director of the Texas Institute for Excellence in Mental Health, the upcoming school year will serve as an opportunity for students, families, teachers and school administrators to learn skills in coping, re-evaulate mental health protocols and build resiliency in challenging times.

Jules Design Bar
TABC change opens window for some bars to qualify as restaurants under state pandemic orders

Following a new industry guideline recently distributed by the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission, more bars across the state may soon be able to qualify as restaurants.

Bluebonnet Trails Community Services is located at 1009 N. Georgetown St., Round Rock. (Elizabeth Ucles/Community Impact Newspaper)
Williamson County adds 2 beds to area mental health facility in FY 2020-21 budget

The county will partner with Bluebonnet Trails Community Services to expand services.

(Design by Katherine Borey/Community Impact Newspaper)
'No decision will please everyone': Round Rock ISD grapples with learning options 1 week before school starts

Districtwide more than 2 out of 3 families said they would elect a virtual setting should an on-campus option become available in early September.

(Brian Perdue/Community Impact Newspaper)
Half of Leander ISD families opt for virtual learning and more top news from the Austin area

Read the most popular news from the past week from the Austin area.

After cutting $4.3 million meant for street maintenance from this year’s budget, Round Rock City Council took steps Aug. 13 to secure road repair funds for fiscal year 2020-21. (Jack Flagler/Community Impact Newspaper)
Street maintenance drives Round Rock’s budget, tax rate discussions

After cutting $4.3 million meant for street maintenance from this year’s budget, Round Rock City Council took steps Aug. 13 to secure road repair funds for fiscal year 2020-21.

The ballot includes three council seats and seven charter amendments.
It’s official: Round Rock will hold city elections Nov. 3

The ballot includes three council seats and seven charter amendments.

Williamson County reported 73 new coronavirus cases and reached 99 total deaths Aug. 13. (Community Impact staff)
Williamson County reports 73 new coronavirus cases, reaches 99 deaths Aug. 13

The county's seven-day rolling positivity rate, or the rate at which tests return positive, continues to decrease.

The future location on South Congress Avenue would be the third located in the South Austin area. (Community Impact Newspaper staff)
P. Terry's plans for S. Congress drive-thru and more Austin-area news

Read the latest Austin-area business and community news.

The city of Taylor will host free state COVID-19 testing Aug. 15-16. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
State COVID-19 testing in Williamson County continues in Taylor on Aug. 15-16

Free testing will be provided for county and non-county residents at the Main Street Intermediate School.

Capital Metro's plan to build rail lines and expand its public transportation network, Project Connect, will head to voters in the city of Austin on Nov. 3. (Jack Flagler/Community Impact Newspaper)
Project Connect officially in the hands of Austin voters Nov. 3

Austin City Council took its final vote Aug. 13 on a plan to ask voters for approximately $3.85 billion in local revenue to expand the city's public transportation network.