The Levelland Community Development board met Tuesday night to discuss park facilities and capital improvement needs. The public was invited to make comment however, there was no members of the public present to comment.
An intern with the city has performed a facility usage study for ball fields at the city parks as well as the Oxy Sports Complex. This study started in 2014 before the Oxy was built and continued through today and will be maintained by the City. City staff did point out that at this time the Oxy is adequate for demand.
City staff presented a park usage study which was put together by Rosalia Orozco, an intern for the city. The City Park was used the following number of times for games.
2014 (Before Oxy was complete) 2015 2016
Baseball—137 Baseball—47 Baseball–0
Softball—194 Softball—11 Softball–0
Soccer—191 Soccer—0 Soccer—Season Not Yet Started
Private Trnmnt—23 Private Trnmnt—12 Private Trnmnt–3
Oxy Sports Complex
2015–Baseball—60 2016—Baseball 120
Soccer—227 Soccer—Season not yet started
Private Tournaments—8 Private Tournaments–6
The city staff reported on a list of capital improvements needed in the city park system currently including…….
New Pavilion Country Club Park, Replace Playground Curb at George Price Park, Repair/Repaint Park pavilions at LG Griffin, City Park and George Price Park, Replace Trail Lights at Brashear Lake Park, Playground Replacement and Walking Trail at City Park.
Total estimated Capital Improvements: $131,600.
It was discussed that the Oxy Sports Complex can accommodate soccer and softball of any age group. However, it was noted that 13 and over for baseball is hard to accomodate with current fields available. The City staff said there is some demand but not enough that they could recommend spending the $250,000 to rehabilitate a field to make it available for play at city park. Those teams are able to play at the high school field currently. Several years ago an estimate was received by the city to build a self standing full size baseball field would cost $1.2 Million and there is concern that it would not make economic sense at this time. Board Chairman, Bruce White said, in several years, if we have phase 1 of Oxy Sports Complex bond paid down then this could be a discussion for a possible phase 2. It was noted that to rehab the Barty Johnson field at city park to be a full size field for 13 and over would require total new lighting being installed, new fencing and work similar to what was done at the adult softball field this year.
Assistant City Manager Erik Rejino also pointed out that the city swimming pool is reaching its useful life and will need to be replaced in the coming years. It was noted that there are challenges with maintaining a swimming pool due to the difficulty of finding trained life guards. It was discussed that some communities are converting pools to splash pads which do not require life guards. It was noted that the plumbing for the pool could be used for a splash pad with cost estimates of $800,000 to $1 million. It was noted that a new pool would cost $2.5 to 3 million dollars.
The board discussed a budget for 2016-2017. It was noted that sales tax collection has been down an estimated 15% from 2014-2015. The bond payment for the 2016-2017 year would be $278,000. The board after little discussion approved $59,000 in expenditures to cover the new pavilion at Country Club Park, new lighting at the Brashear Lake Walking trail, Repairs and repainting of pavilions at LG Griffin Park, George Price Park and City Park and replacing the playground curb at George Price Park. The board did voice concern about using CDC tax dollars for repairs and repainting that should be covered in maintenance. It was noted that the City General fund is facing a very tight year in 2016-2017 and likely will not take on any capital projects in the parks department. With little discussion the board approved the 2016-2017 budget with expenditures totaling $340,000 which covers the bond payment and $59,000 for the capital improvement items recommended by the city.