The Lockhart City Council discussed the future of the farmer’s market, hotel occupancy tax allocations, Lockhart’s Emergency Warning System, acceptance of a GLO grant and a professional services agreement with a firm that will assist with the process of renovating the City’s 10 parks.
Farmer’s Market: Council directed city staff to prepare an interlocal agreement for council review and approval. The previous Lockhart Farmer’s Market that had an interlocal agreement with the city that was approved in 2021 has dissolved, and a new group of organizers is interested in continuing the weekly event held on Saturdays.
HOT funds: Council approved the allocations of Hotel Occupancy Tax (HOT) funds for 2022-2023 as recommended by the HOT Funds Advisory Board. The purpose of the local hotel occupancy tax is to promote tourism and the convention and hotel industry. Any business considered a hotel in the Texas Tax Code must charge hotel occupancy taxes. Six Lockhart-based nonprofit organizations applied for the funds, with each making the case that their events bring visitors who pay for lodging to the area. Applications were approved for the Lockhart Chamber of Commerce Visitors’ Center and Chisholm Trail Round Up, the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce’s Diez y Seis and Cinco de Mayo, Gaslight Baker-Theater, Caldwell County Jail Museum and Feria de Culturas.
Emergency Warning System: The Lockhart fire chief presented to Council the annual review of the City of Lockhart Emergency Warning System policies, which includes the Outdoor Warning Sirens (OWS) and the Regional Notification System (RNS) in partnership with the Capital Area Council of Governments (CAPCOG). The Outdoor Warning Sirens (OWS) consist of five (electro-mechanical rotating sirens strategically located throughout the city. Due to population growth on the west side, a sixth siren location may be needed in the future at an estimated cost of $35,000. The OWS system is also in need of an upgrade to the server and software located at dispatch. Approximate cost is $16,000. Costs associated with west side siren location and software will be discussed in budget preparation for Fiscal Year 2023-24.
Grant: Council voted to authorize the mayor to acknowledge and accept funding on behalf of the city from the CDBG-MIT Regional Mitigation Program that will be administered by the Texas General Land Office (GLO). Lockhart qualifies for approximately $1.89 million in funding pending upcoming public participation process and final method of distribution approval by the GLO. Fifty percent of the funds received must be used for projects that benefit low-to-middle-income citizens.
Parks Projects: The council voted to approve a one-year contract for professional services with Halff Associates, which will serve as the Lockhart Parks and Recreation General Services provider in connection with the renovation of the City’s 10 parks. Immediate projects will include the 5-year update to the parks, recreation and open space master plan, assistance with existing splash pad integration into LaFleur Park, skate park repairs and aquatics facility planning and Lions Park renovations.
City Manager’s Report
Housing/Development Committee: The Council/Planning and Zoning subcommittee on housing/development conducted its first meeting. Ideas discussed included having a greater variation of house designs in subdivisions and adding landscaping requirements, as well as updating the charges for platting fees compared to other cities.
Splash Pad project on Maple Street: Bids have been received, a vendor has been identified and the materials have been ordered for a new soccer themed splash pad. The timeline includes an anticipated start to construction on April 1. The City is hopeful the pad will be operational ahead of the Memorial Day holiday.
Cleanup events: The City Wide Cleanup is March 25 and full information about the event and items that are eligible for pickup is on the city’s website. The Household Hazardous Waste cleanup that is exclusively for Lockhart residents will be held at the city park on Saturday, April 1. Spring cleanup at the Lockhart City Cemetery will be March 28-29.
KidFish: KidFish will be held from 9 a.m.-noon on Saturday, March 18 at Lockhart City Park.