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Saturday, April 20, 2024 at 4:57 AM
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HIPPO BITES

Little bits of big news
HIPPO BITES
Solar glasses are listed as one of very few safe ways to view the eclipse in the city’s guide. Photo courtesy of city of Hutto

City posts eclipse viewing guide

HUTTO — One of new Emergency Management Director Jacob Isbell’s first public tasks has been to prepare for the potential influx of visitors coming to view the total solar eclipse. The city has put out a guide for neighbors, visitors and businesses about how to best enjoy the eclipse from Hutto.

“Our commitment is to ensure that everyone — residents and guests alike — has a safe and memorable time during the eclipse. We’ve put a lot of thought into the planning and resources available in this guide, emphasizing safety, community engagement, and making the most of this extraordinary day,” Isbell said.

The guide lists the anticipated “community impact days” as April 4 – 9.

Among other tips, it cautions that Hutto’s already congested traffic situation may get even worse on those dates, and lines for services such as restaurants, gas stations and stores may be long as well. Isbell suggests scheduling errands and appointments outside of the affected dates, and checking ahead to make sure the business you are visiting is open. Some closures are expected.

He suggested stocking up groceries and cash beforehand, as well as fueling up your vehicle.

The biggest concern is that local cellular service may become overwhelmed, especially April 8, which will impact cell phones as well as internet access. Some companies that use cellular-based services may find themselves unable to process credit card transactions.

For the full list of preparedness tips from the city, view the guide available on the website HuttoTX.gov.

Downtown welcomes new wine bar

In summer 2023, Hutto Economic Development Corp. reviewed a business plan by entrepreneur Meg Hiney and agreed to a package of performance-based incentive agreements that helped bring Hutto Wine Bar to its new downtown location. The venue at 105 East St. had a soft opening Feb. 28 and a grand opening is planned with the Hutto Chamber of Commerce for April 19.

According to city officials, the performance-based incentive agreement is a combination of grants aligned to various milestones, as well as Sales Tax Reimbursements over three years.

“This incentive is an excellent example of the Board’s commitment to supporting entrepreneurship and the continued development of our downtown. Hutto Wine Bar adds a missing piece to our community puzzle. I look forward to seeing how this new addition supports continued growth and attraction of additional business and patrons to our downtown.” said Director of Economic Development Cheney Gamboa.

Hutto Wine Bar sells a variety of red, white and bubbly wines ranging from $9 to $18 per glass. The curated selection includes wines from Texas as well as classic European vintages and highlights products by female winemakers or vineyard owners.

Public hearing on sewer plant requested

Texas State Representative Caroline Harris Davila, whose House District 52 includes Hutto, has reached out to the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality to request a public hearing on the latest neighborhood sewage plant application.

“I do not doubt that the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality is doing everything in its power to protect our state’s air, water and natural resources while balancing that duty with the public’s interest, including House District 52 residents,” she wrote, while adding, “This would allow my constituents to hear about the proposed permit, as well as voice their concerns.”

Harris Davila’s request concerns Permit No. WQ0016462001, from an application submitted to TCEQ Jan. 8 by Sugar Land, Texas-based Limmer Holdings LLC. The wastewater treatment facility is expected to discharge 150,000 gallons per day through the site just a half-mile from the intersection of Limmer Loop and State Highway 130.

No date has yet been set for a public meeting regarding this project. TCEQ has scheduled a public meeting to discuss the community’s concerns about another neighborhood wastewater plant, the 705 Limmer Loop JV LLC project to be located in front of Veteran’s Hill Elementary School. Concerned residents are invited to attend on Tuesday, April 9, at 7 p.m. in the Hutto High School Gymnasium, 101 FM 685.


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