Lockhart to buy 22 acres on Case St.
By LPR Staff
The Lockhart City Council approved the purchase of a 22.5-acre tract of land at the end of Case Street on Monday evening.
Earlier this year, Animal Services Director Melanie Tucker announced the city had received a grant of $100,000 from the Mitchell Foundation to assist with the purchase of land and for other animal-r
elated needs. Soon after, officials began searching for an appropriate property for a new animal shelter. The tract they found, which was discussed during an executive session on Sept. 2, was offered to the City for the negotiated price of $199,000.
On Monday, the council unanimously approved the purchase under Resolution 08-17, which allows use of funds from the city’s General Fund budget to make up the difference between the grant funds and the negotiated price. The land, according to the resolution, is appropriate in its location and price, and can be used not only for animal services, but also for a possible expansion of the existing Public Works and Water/Wastewater facilities on Wichita Street. It may also be suitable for future park facilities.
Mayor James “Jimmy” Bertram was given authorization to sign documents to close on the property, and expects closing will take place in the near future.
In other business, representatives of the citizen group in support of the Lockhart Skate Park came before the council to ask them to reconsider a recent decision regarding funds once earmarked toward the project.
Karron DeGraffenreid, the president of OnARoll, Inc., the citizen group spearheading the possible construction of the park, said during the public comments portion of the meeting that she had been out of the country on a mission trip when the council discussed de-obligating $60,000 in city funds that had once been allocated to the park.
She approached the council in response to their decision to rescind the earmark and a newspaper article which said the group had “failed to meet their obligations.”
“I want to be clear that we are still working toward this, and that the organization didn’t ‘fail,’” she said. “There may have been a failure to have our [tax exemption paperwork] in hand, but we were in the process of getting that, and as of Oct. 2, it was filed with the Internal Revenue Service. As far as donations of material and in kind contributions, we have documentation that those are lined up, as well.”
DeGraffenreid asked the council to place an item on the agenda for their next meeting to allow the group to come forward and discuss with council the progress made so far, and the steps that still need to be taken to see the skate park built.
“This is for the betterment of Lockhart and for the recreation of our kids,” she said. “We need diverse recreation, and [a skate park] is an opportunity for this community.”
Bertram, who originally supported the obligation of the funds and later asked the earmark be removed, said he does support the project, but recognized the need for those funds to be used in other areas of the Parks Department as well. He did ask City Manager Vance Rodgers to place the item for discussion on the council’s Oct. 21 agenda.
In brief council news:
In connection with an upcoming event sponsored by the Southwest Museum of Clocks and Watches, Bertram read a proclamation declaring Oct. 18, 2008, National Association of Clock and Watch Collectors Day.
They approved the use of $10,000.34 as a change order to the “T-21 Sidewalk Project.” The change will allow for paving improvements on Pecos Street in connection with the Lockhart Springs Walkway Grant Project, and marks the use of nearly 100 percent of the funds allotted to Lockhart by the State of Texas for the project.
The Council heard a presentation from City Planner Dan Gibson regarding the collection of impact fees over the last six months. In an effort to encourage new growth, the council has for several years approved substantial decreases in the impact fees charged for new development in Lockhart. They instructed Gibson to prepare a resolution that will continue those discounts for another six months, and expect to approve the resolution during their next regular meeting on Oct. 21.