STAFF WRITER JENNIFER FIERRO
MARBLE FALLS — A deal between the city of Marble Falls and two businesses means you can enjoy some paddleboarding and a good workout at two parks.
The Marble Falls City Council approved concession contracts with Jolly Rodgers Paddle Co. and Camp Gladiator for one year each.
Jolly Rodgers rents paddleboards, paddleboats, and kayaks from a city-owned building at 120 S. Main St., just behind the Falls Creek Park and Skatepark. The company has had a concession agreement with the city in previous years.
Camp Gladiator will provide fitness boot camp sessions at Westside Park, which is located at the intersection of Second Street and Avenue Q.
The concession contracts, which allow for-profit companies to use part of city facilities for recreational purposes, require Jolly Rodgers to give the city 15 percent of its gross revenue and Camp Gladiator to give 10 percent.
“This is a way for the city to provide recreational opportunities that we can’t offer because we don’t have the resources at this time,” said Robert Moss, the city’s parks and recreation department director. “It’s not about making money; it’s about providing recreational opportunities. We’re trying to at least cover expenses related to it.”
Moss also presented information about contracting for landscaping and ground maintenance services in the parks versus keeping those duties in-house. During the last budget process, the council asked Moss to compare the two after he requested hiring two additional full-time staff members. The council wanted to know which was more cost-effective: contracting out for the services or hiring two more workers.
After reviewing the requests for proposals from different companies, Moss reported the city would save 14 percent by hiring full-time employees.
Since 2007, when Moss was hired, the city has expanded its parks from 88 acres to 158 acres. The two additional full-time employees bring the parks and recreation department staffing to eight.