Lockhart City Council discusses reopening options
By Wesley Gardner
The Lockhart City Council on Tuesday discussed possible options for opening up City Hall and other city services to the public.
According to City Manager Steve Lewis, officials tentatively plan on reopening City Hall’s lobby and other development services on May 26, though safety measures will be still be in place to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.
“We’re going to encourage people to schedule appointments, to do things over the phone, do things online,” said Lewis. “We’re going to still encourage those things, but sometimes there are needs that people want to come in for, so we’ll try to accommodate those.”
Lewis noted the north parking lot would still likely be closed off, which he said would encourage city customers to come in through the south entrance.
“That way we could monitor people that are coming into city hall and for what purpose,” said Lewis. “The primary purpose is to prevent people from overcrowding into the lobby area adjacent to the utility service area.”
Lewis added that City Hall would still have six-foot spacing markers for people in the lobby and that high-touch surfaces such as door handles and counters would be disinfected hourly.
The Dr. Eugene Clarke Library is also starting to provide more services, Lewis said, including the recent resumption of curbside pick-up options. Four computers are currently available for use at the library for 45-minute windows.
Lewis said the library staff would like to begin offering grab-and-go options on June 1 that would allow patrons to come in, grab what they need, check out and go.
According to Lewis, city staff is recommending that park pavilions be made available to the public again on May 22 but noted the city would not take reservations for them.
“It’s a way to prevent people from necessarily planning large gatherings,” Lewis said.
Playscapes, restrooms and water fountains will still remain closed as city staff determines the best way to keep them clean and safe for public use.
“We have nine playscapes, and Kyle has seven,” Lewis said, noting the city of Kyle has opted to keep their playscapes closed. “They have probably 2-3 times the staff we have.”
Public swimming pools and the city’s splash pad will also remain closed for the time being, Lewis said, noting the difficulty in determining how staff could safely perform a water rescue.
Lewis also discussed whether the city would hold its annual Fourth of July fireworks event.
Mayor Lew White said he’s had discussions with the Lockhart Chamber of Commerce to determine the feasibility of the event, which often features live music and vendors. White noted they would come to a decision regarding the fireworks display at the council’s June 2 meeting.
Public Works Director Sean Kelley said youth sports are now allowed to practice but they won’t be allowed to engage in competition until June 15.
In other business, councilmembers voted 4-3 to approve a zoning change that will allow for the construction of five new properties on approximately 3 acres on North Pecos Street.
The applicants, Manuel and Rosemary Oliva, said the intent is to build five single-family homes, though the approved zoning change does allow for the construction of duplexes.
Several adjacent property owners opposed the zoning change, citing the risk of potentially increasing flooding in the area, though councilmembers ultimately sided with the Olivas and approved the zoning request.