Marble Falls parks and rec renovating, upgrading city’s party facilities

Marble Falls Westside Park

The city of Marble Falls is almost finished with renovations to a building near Westside Park that will be used as a cost-effective alternative to Lakeside Pavilion. Staff photo by Jennifer Fierro

JENNIFER FIERRO • STAFF WRITER

MARBLE FALLS — A building located near Westside Park on Second Street is about four weeks away from renovations being completed.

That’s the word from Marble Falls Parks and Recreation Director Robert Moss during the regular meeting of the Parks and Recreation Commission on Aug. 3.

“We’re moving along,” he said. “We’ve had quite a bit of movement.”

Framers bordered restrooms, while plumbers cut out slab to lay new pipes and new water supply lines and new counters have been created and attached, he said. New appliances have already been ordered, he added, and will be installed later. Meanwhile, members of the Parks and Recreation Department will paint the structure.

The building and property were purchased from former businessman George Ortiz for $92,950 several months ago to give citizens a more cost-effective alternative to Lakeside Pavilion for smaller parties and gatherings. The city budgeted $30,000 for the improvements.

Officials didn’t forget about Lakeside Pavilion. Moss told the commissioners the city will upgrade the sound system that includes a high-powered amplifier, 21 pendant speakers throughout the facility and speakers for the patio, a digital processor and a touch-screen control panel, a new high-definition projector and installation and training.

The total cost for the pavilion upgrades is $48,000. The department has secured $10,000 from the Hotel-Motel Occupancy Tax, and Moss went before the Marble Falls Economic Development Corp. during the regular meeting Aug. 5 to request  $38,773 come from the EDC’s community leverage to pay the remaining balance. The EDC approved the request.

Right now, sound bounces off the high ceilings to the concrete floor and dies about the middle of the room. So attendees of a meeting, presentation or conference who sit in the back couldn’t hear the orator because of the background noise.

City Manager Mike Hodge said the current sound system is ideal for live entertainers such as musicians or DJs.

Moss said the department asked an audio-video company to submit an inventory list and prices for other sound equipment pieces.

“Two additional acoustics would be costly,” he said. “So we chose to improve the sound system.”

The commissioners also:

• reviewed a list of publicly owned property, which was requested by Commissioner Charles Watkins. The commissioners then passed a motion requesting that all properties identified as “open space” be included and considered in the Comprehensive Plan for possible future park land development and that they also be listed in the next update of the Park, Recreation and Open Space Master Plan.

• were told the department will be getting new vehicles. The reason is because of wear and tear on a 1998 truck and a 2003 truck that’s no longer working, a 2000 lawn mower and a 2004 lawn mower, and a 2001 gator that has had the “frame welded and patched,” Moss said, adding that one of the mowers needed a lot of oil to keep it running, while the other was obsolete and parts were hard to find. Hodge added that since the 2003 truck wasn’t working, parks and recreation is borrowing a truck from the Marble Falls Fire Department. The total cost of two new trucks, two new lawn mowers and one gator is $67,000. Moss explained the typical life expectancy is seven years, but staff members were able to double that in some cases. “They’ve been needed for awhile,” he said. “We (shouldn’t) have to repair so much and keep them running. We’ll sell (the old vehicles) at an auction.”

• were reminded of the Aug. 13 comprehensive plan workshop at 6 p.m. at Lakeside Pavilion, 307 Buena Vista. Residents are invited. City staff members asked citizens to participate in a survey to help officials update the comprehensive plan. “The results of the survey will be revealed,” Moss said. “We’ll get the public comments back and educate the community on what we’re doing and get feedback. Spread the word – we’d love to have a good showing.”

• were told the next regular meeting was moved to Sept. 14 at noon at the city council chambers, 800 Third St. The original meeting date, Sept. 7, which is the first Monday of the month, is a federal holiday to observe Labor Day.

jfierro@thepicayune.com

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