With budget season coming into full swing, the LCDC sat down last night for their regular meeting to get updates on recent projects and perform a budget workshop. Both the LCDC and the LEDC boards are busy wrapping up their budgets for the Monday night City Council Meeting, wherein revised budgets and tax rates will be looked over. The LCDC, like the city is keeping most funds in cash accounts as that is where the interest rates are best at the moment. Currently, there are $760,000 funds attributed to the board. Retail food is trending up at the moment, followed slightly slower by Industry and Services, which are both recovering well after the pandemic. Sales Tax, according to the board is trending even higher than the 2018-2019 numbers. They say projections are conservative at the moment, but are looking promising. In this meeting the board heard from Dustin Reichelt with the parks department on their recent projects. The George Price playground is complete and is open to the public. The playground has been open for a couple of months, and the last thing needing to be slightly tweaked is the irrigation system. All 13 playgrounds in town are now updated and have a 25 year lifespan, with the oldest one being 6 ½. City Park’s irrigation set up is almost finished and running, and the playgrounds there are complete. They are waiting to open the playgrounds to the public, however as there is still some construction to be done on the pavilions. That construction should begin next week, and is expected to be short term. New restrooms have not been started just yet, and the basketball court is currently under construction. New trees have been ordered for the park, and will be planted around October with a ribbon cutting coming this Fall.
When going over possible projects, the board seemed to have many options. There was talk of adding ADA compliant fishing docks on the lakes, adding lighting for the soccer fields, benches and tables in the parks, as well as paving walking trails. One project stood out among the rest, despite its long term nature: phase two of the Oxy Sports Complex. The Oxy Complex was the LCDC’s first large scale project, and phase two would add another four baseball fields, with one of them being a full sized field that would allow up to college level of play. It is projected that phase two is around 3 years out, but plans are being tossed around now. The other item that was discussed rather heavily was that of City Park. The board wanted to ensure that even with a large scale project like the Oxy on the horizon, that they didn’t abandon City Park. When moving forward with planning, they plan to be very adamant about the park having a funding mechanism.