Groups will divvy up $500,000
Hotel Occupancy Tax funds, used to market events and attractions that put heads in beds, were awarded to organizations at the Fredericksburg City Council meeting on Monday, Feb. 5.
A total of 32 applicants were approved to receive amounts ranging from $1,500 to $125,000.
The council declared it intends to stay within a $500,000 budget of awarding HOT funds.
The only two requests that were not approved at the meeting were the Admiral Nimitz Foundation and the Fredericksburg 175th Anniversary Committee. Those two requests will be reviewed and approved at the next city council meeting.
The Fredericksburg Social Turn Verein-Turner Hall withdrew its request for HOT funds this year.
“They are not going to proceed with their request this year. They believe that by this time next year they will have the site plan, the plan for the structure and the historic elements that they are preserving,” Mayor Linda Langerhans said.
The city had allocated nearly $679,734 for HOT funds this year. The remaining balance will be placed in the city’s reserve funds.
The council unanimously approved requests for street closures for upcoming events within the city.
Special Events Coordinator Jennifer Krupa researched the city’s events in the coming six months.
The Fredericksburg 5K and 10K Wildflower Run and Walk’s organizers requested to have Austin Street closed between Adams and Crockett streets from 7-11 a.m. Saturday, April 28.
The council also considered and approved a street closure during the Jaycees’ Crawfish Festival. Austin Street will be completely closed between Adams and Crockett streets beginning at 8 a.m. Friday, May 25 and end on Monday, May 28 at 6 p.m.
“We have spoken with the church and they are aware. Just like last year, the Jaycees have promised to remove those barricades on Sunday morning for church services,” Krupa said.
Additionally, Krupa announced a new city event slated for 3-7 p.m. Thursday, March 8. The city will host an open house and Touch-A-Truck event for city residents. Departments with vehicles will be on display for residents and children to view. This event will require Austin Street between Adams and Crockett streets to be closed.
The council approved an ordinance to hold a city election on Saturday, May 5.
Langerhans is seeking an additional mayoral term and will be challenged by city council member Bobby Watson. Charlie Kiehne has filed to retain his seat.
St. Mary’s Catholic School requested a fee waiver for the use of Oakcrest Park’s Field C.
St. Mary’s is set to use the field for 11 weeks and would be charged the city’s current rate of $25 per day which would result in $1,100 in fees per month. A representative from St. Mary’s spoke and mentioned the school has been using the fields for 16 years and has never been charged.
The council voted to approve to charge St. Mary’s $300 per month, which is the same rate other groups are charged to use the park.
“They use one field during the day and they don’t use city lights,” SMS spokesman Chris Schoessow said. “St. Mary’s is actually saving the public education system of FISD about $260,000. The average cost to educate a child is $1,000. There are 260 kids going to St. Mary’s so that’s not an additional drain on the public education system.”
The Morning Rotary Club requested the city approve a license agreement between the City of Fredericksburg and the club to build a basketball pavilion at Old Fair Park.
The council initially approved the Morning Rotary Club’s proposal in October 2017. The club requested city property to build the courts and then turn them over to the city for management. The council approved the agreement unanimously.
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