City OKs free time, fee time on new court
Coming soon, a new place to play basketball. But that doesn’t come without a price.
Fredericksburg City Council voted 4-1 on an ordinance to establish fees for the use of the new pavilion at Old Fair Park during its regular meeting Monday night at the Law Enforcement Center. Councilmember Tom Musselman did not approve because he wanted a second reading.
Andrea Schmidt, director of Parks and Recreation, said the fees would be $10 per hour with a minimum reservation of two hours. After that time, users would pay an extra $10 per hour.
Schmidt said for six to nine months, reservations would only have to be made for three days of the week, with the other four open for free play. Tuesday nights from 5-8 p.m. will likely be reserved for an adult basketball league.
The $10 fee is for court reservation, not a fee for individual players.
Staff will post signs with appropriate contact information at the pavilion alerting users of the reservation fee dates.
“We just want to see how it goes in that time, and then we can make adjustments as needed,” Schmidt said.
Musselman was concerned about the fees, and wondered what potential users thought of them.
“Money was raised by community groups and given to the City of Fredericksburg for the benefit of the citizens,” Musselman said. “I think it looks real bad if we say, ‘OK, well, we’re going to charge you for something.’”
City Manager Kent Myers disagreed and said it would benefit users, as they could have a chance to guarantee usage time.
Schmidt said users such as the adult basketball league liked the reservation opportunity.
Marc Bennett, member of the Fredericksburg Morning Rotary Club, which has been the main driving force of this project, said he’s OK with the fees, as long as the majority of the time is free play.
“We primarily want an open play facility,” Bennett said. “But we do understand that this is a team facility, and that teams would like to be able to play at certain points.”
Schmidt said she’s unsure which days will be reservation days at this time, as staff doesn’t know when people are going to use it.
“We know for sure Tuesdays are going to be a reservation night and we want to be sure one of the weekend days is completely open play, but the other five nights, we’re just going to wait and see,” Schmidt said.
There will be two courts at the pavilion, so there will be an open court if only one is reserved.
Musselman asked if players can rent half of a court, since half-court basketball is common. Schmidt said this was not an option, but she can look into it.
She expects the pavilion to be open before the end of 2019.
The council also approved Resolution 2019-19 R declaring the results of the recount of the Nov. 5 city Special Election, which took place at 9 a.m. Friday, Nov. 22.
City Secretary Shelley Goodwin requested that Mayor Linda Langerhans read the totals aloud. The official totals were 742 votes against added fluoride in the city water supply, and 1,261 votes in favor of added fluoride.
Musselman and Langerhans offered their appreciation to the citizens who helped with the recount.
“We did have a lot of help in the recount from some very good people,” Langerhans said.
Myers said expenses for the recount have not been finalized, but it will exceed the $500 deposit. This means the requestors will have to pay more money.
City manager’s report
Two items were noteworthy in the city manager’s report, as Myers discussed future annexations and a future Relief Route meeting.
The council will have to take action on four items during the Jan. 6 regular meeting, regarding the annexation of 117.1 acres of land along the south side of West Live Oak Street. Those items include the annexation ordinance, an annexation agreement with one of the area property owners, land use approval and zoning approval.
He also gave an update on a voluntary annexation of the Stone Ridge Unit No. 10 area.
“We just received a request from the property owner in that area, so we will be scheduling public hearings in January,” Myers said.
Following those, Myers said staff will present land annexations along Cherry Street. Brian Jordan, director of Development Services, said this will include both sides of Post Oak Road from Live Oak Street north up to the city limit line, and would eventually become the extension of Cherry Street.
There will be an open house for Cherry Street annexations at the end of January.
City staff scheduled a second open house on the Main Street Relief Route for 2-7 p.m. Jan. 14, at the Gillespie County Farm Bureau Pape Event Center, 237 Equestrian Drive.
Myers said this will give residents a chance to see the status on the route.
“(Texas Department of Transportation) and the consultants will be presenting what’s called the ‘preferred local route,’ and so this is when the route options are narrowed down to the number one priority,” Myers said.
City Council received pushback on the Relief Route by residents during the Nov. 4 regular meeting.
Dave Campbell, a member of Citizens for an Informed Relief Route, said the “most preferred” route had a 58% disapproval rating from citizens. He and other citizens asked the council to reconsider the type of route TxDOT is proposing.
During the meeting, the council also:
• Approved an ordinance to increase Texas Municipal Retirement System benefits.
• Approved a resolution establishing a city Property Assessed Clean Energy Program.
• Approved a revised Interlocal Agreement with Texas Department of Public Safety for a program utilized by the Municipal Court.
• Approved an award of bid for pre-pay proposal with Siddons Martin Emergency Group, LLC for a Fredericksburg Fire Department Impel PUC Pumper.