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Council approves new summer hours for park

Council approves new summer hours for park
La Vernia city councilmen (from left) D. Bradford Beck and Randy Leonard, Mayor Robert Gregory, and councilmen Bobby Richter and Eloi Cormier listen to clarification on the city code July 12 during the regular city council meeting.

LA VERNIA The city park will now have summer hours from Memorial Day through Labor Day, following a vote during the July 12 La Vernia City Council meeting, effective immediately.

This followed a request from the Greater La Vernia Parks Foundation last month for longer summer hours, based on comments from park users and city residents. The public works department will open the park at approximately 6:30 a.m.

“The officer on dogwatch will make sure the gate is closed at night,” La Vernia Police Chief Bruce Ritchey told the council.

The new hours will mean those exercising or using the walking track can do so in the cooler morning hours. This also alleviates pressure on participants in Little League games or other organized sports using the park facilities to finish games early to comply with park closing times in the summer.

Continuing to address park issues, the council authorized Mayor Robert Gregory to sign an application from the La Vernia Little League for a Guadalupe Valley Electric Cooperative POWER UP Grant. As the park’s owner, the city must sign the application, said Little League representative Martin Poore.

If the application succeeds, grant funds could help improve the La Vernia City Park’s playing fields, Poore told the council. Among the proposed projects are fencing on several fields, improvements to dugouts and batting cages, replacing the rollup door with windows on the concession stand, and placing a cage around the concession air conditioner.

If sufficient funds remain, the grant also may be used toward road improvements in the park, Poore said.

The projects total approximately $28,000, he said, adding that the Little League will contribute 20 percent matching funds, a requirement of the grant.

In other matters, the council:

¢Approved an ordinance to adopt the city’s comprehensive plan.

¢Approved adopting a new city code. This simply organizes the city’s ordinances in one place, said Code Enforcement Officer Janet Thelen, who advised money is budgeted each year toward this expense. Having the code in one place is easier for city employees to locate relevant information quickly; updates are provided on a regular basis and added online, Thelen said.

¢Approved a budget amendment for the 2011-12 fiscal year, allocating funds toward purchasing a new police vehicle.

¢Discussed the city’s well projects. A brief executive session resulted in no action and no further discussion of the matter, to be revisited at a later date.

¢Approved Councilman Randy Leonard as mayor pro tem for the next year.

Ritchey also reported two scams in the La Vernia area.

Interim Public Works Director Jason Mills advised Frank Garcia had joined his department and was proving to be an asset to the city.

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