WIMBERLEY, Texas (KXAN) — Some business owners say construction of a new sewer system in downtown Wimberley could really hurt the businesses on the square. Although most shop owners agree a sewer system is needed, they’re frustrated with what they say is a lack of planning on the city’s part.
Wednesday evening, city leaders led a public meeting for anyone in the community to ask questions about the project. In total, the sewer system is estimated to cost $7.5 million and will provide service to around 100 businesses and homeowners.
“You’re throwing it back at me like you could care less. I’m simply asking you to find an answer to when is there a completion date,” asked Wimberley business owner Tom Keyser from the audience.
“OK Tom, this has turned into a you and me conversation,” said Mayor Mac McCullough before answering that contractors have a year to complete the project.
The project has been in the works for years, but even there still aren’t solid dates on when construction will begin and when certain areas of town will be impacted.
“There are a lot of questions out there that we would like to get answered ahead of time so we can make plans,” said Keyser. “I as much as anyone wants a sewer, but I’ve been working this thing and arguing against this solution in this form for a long time and I hope people understand why I did. Because now we are in this point where it is about to begin and you can see that it’s not well thought out and it’s not well organized.”
The city hopes the sewer is complete in seven months. McCullough says although he doesn’t know when construction will begin he expects it to start in the next 30 days.
“You can only work that out once you have a contract in hand and you know they are willing to do the work and willing to commit the time to show their schedule and show how that will work with our plans and our desires,” said McCullough.
The mayor says the construction could block off all vehicle traffic through downtown for up to four weeks. “That part of construction, it will be messy,” he said.
The mayor hopes the city is able to give businesses a heads up before the roads in front of their stores are impacted. He also adds people will still be able to walk to the businesses on the square so they should be able to remain open.
Still, local shops are worried about their future and the roadblocks ahead.
“The margins that some of these shopkeepers live on that any disruption, we’re not talking about the bill after the fact, we’re talking about during construction. How do they survive during that construction without a really well-thought-out plan,” said Keyser.