As promised, here's an update to Wednesday's email detailing other news from Tuesday night's Kerrville City Council meeting. To say this was an epic meeting was putting it mildly.
Tabling a parking lot
It's been a nagging situation for more than five years, and on Tuesday night, the fate of a proposed Clay Street parking faced a pause. After back-and-forth on language about an agreement between the city of Kerrville and the property owner of a Sidney Baker Street strip mall faltered, the City Council voted to table the item until both sides could clean up the legal language.
What's the big deal here?
- This issue has festered its way through a court action that saw property owner Bruce Motheral win a decision against the city that would allow him to build a parking lot behind his strip mall, which is the home of Soaring Dragon restaurant and other businesses. Motheral wanted a parking lot accessible to Clay Street, but the city and neighbors objected. Ultimately, Motheral won a court ruling to build the parking lot.
- In order to do what 216th District Court Judge Pat Patillo ordered, the city developed a planned development district to overlay the Sidney Baker and Clay street properties. Still, when it reached the Planning and Zoning Commission in July, there remained significant opposition from the neighbors. So, P&Z placed restrictions and modifications to the plan, which ran afoul of Motheral's lawyers. After negotiations, and remember the city is behind a court order here, the city walked back on many of the restrictions recommended by the P&Z. Once there's clearance of legal issues, expect the City Council to approve the parking lot — despite the pleas of the neighbors.
Extending the Guadalupe River Trail
The Kerrville City Council approved 4-0 a plan to ask its Economic Improvement Corporation to spend $1 million to extend the Guadalupe River Trail along the river's north side opposite Louise Hays Park. It's a hefty price tag for the city, but City Councilmember Kim Clarkson noted it was good to see a quality of life project come before the City Council.
The city plans to connect G Street to the bridge that spans the river from the Butt-Holdsworth Memorial Library to Tranquility Island. However, this first phase starts at the new zig-zagged ramp that leads to the library near the staircase that accesses the overlook at Water and Earl Garrett streets. The new ramp recently opened, connecting the park and the library — at a cost of $600,000.
Councilmember Joe Herring Jr. resigned from the vote because the new concrete trail could benefit his family's print shop property financially. That is to be determined, but Herring left the meeting during the discussion.
A new sport court
In another recreation matter, the City Council approved a plan to ask the Economic Improvement Corporation to potentially spend $75,000 to install a sports court at Louise Hays Park near the interactive fountain and splash pad.
The city received $50,000 from Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas to install the sports court, a unique body-weight-driven exercise area, and the funding is part of a national initiative to improve fitness. About 34% of Texans are considered obese, but 35% of Texas children are obese, according to the StateofChildhoodObesity.org. H-E-B donated $10,000 for the project, and the city staff suggests an additional $25,000 is coming from a private donor.
When completed, the sports court offers core-strengthening exercises that incorporate lunges, squats and mobility. To learn more about the national campaign: https://nationalfitnesscampaign.com/texas
Kerrville Kindness awarded
Zachary Reyna, bow tie, is honored by Kerrville Mayor Judy Eychner with a Kerrville Kindness Award.
In the City Council meeting's opening minutes, Mayor Judy Eychner honored the efforts of Zachary Reyna, a Kerrville teen. He has fought through a non-operable brain aneurysm and consistently serves the community. Eychner also recognized the work of the Daughter of the American Revolution, which is working to raise awareness about the U.S. Constitution.
The Daughters of the American Revolution, women who can trace their family history to a Revolutionary War figure, were recognized Tuesday night by Kerrville Mayor Judy Eychner.
And back to a Commissioners Court moment
Kerr County Precinct 3 Commissioner Jonathan Letz assured Kerr County Animal Services employees there would be no takeover by Sheriff Larry Leitha.
"That is not a consideration," said Letz, who is responsible for the animal services and shelter.
Letz called it a persistent rumor, saying the commissioner's court has not looked at an arrangement that puts the animal control under Leitha. Letz acknowledged there could be a discussion in the future.
The rumor is red-hot amongst county workers because animal welfare groups have expressed long-held frustration with Kerr County Animal Control Services. It boiled over three years ago when the commissioner's court made changes to KCAS during an executive session — under the guise of personnel matters. That move triggered one of the court's largest public meetings, which had to be held at the Hill Country Youth Event Center to handle the crowd.
The animal control situation remains tenuous as voters are poised to consider a $5 million bond measure to fund a new shelter.
The subdivision plan is ready — almost
Kerr County Judge Rob Kelly announced that the commissioner's court would hold a public hearing at 9 a.m. on Oct. 11 to provide comment on the proposed subdivision code — a project two years in the making.
"If we have a big crowd, we have the courtroom upstairs reserved," Kelly said. "This is 120 pages. We've worked hard to get this done."
The new subdivision plan will help shape county land-use policy in the coming years, which is particularly helpful as the commissioner's court faces nearly non-stop subdivision requests.
Get your Symphony of the Hills tickets now
The first Symphony of the Hills concert of the 2022-2023 season is Oct. 6 at the Cailloux Theater, and tickets are on sale now.
The professional symphony will perform a concert entitled "When In Rome: Inspirations from Italy." The concert is set for 7:30 p.m. Reserved seating can be made online at caillouxperformingarts.com or by calling or visiting the Cailloux Theater Box Office, (830) 896-9393.
The music program for the first concert:
- Gershwin/Balentine – Suite from Porgy and Bess for violin and orchestra, with Nicole Cherry, violin soloist.
- Mendelssohn – Symphony No. 4 in A Major, Op. 90 Italian.
- Respighi – Pines of Rome.
The rest of the concert season includes:
- The Miracle of Christmas with Grand Symphony Chorus on Dec. 1, 2022.
- POPS Western Swing: The Official Music of Texas on Jan. 7, 2023
- Edvard Grieg: Keyboard Brilliance, with Jiale Yi on Feb. 23
- Orchestral Fire: Tchaikovsky on April 27, 2023
Walmart delivers for the Dietert Center
Pictured from left are Laura Maberry, Shelly Dreyer, Robin Anderson representing Walmart, Waverly Jones, and Dorothy Beene.
Kerrville's Walmart celebrated National Senior Center Month by surprising Dietert Center staff and volunteers with a new microwave. The Dietert Center staff said it was much needed. The store also provided popcorn to go with it, and two big boxes of sanitary wipes for use in the center.
Senior Center month is celebrated each September at more than 10,000 senior centers nationwide.
Free day at the Museum of Western Art
The Museum of Western Art is one of two Hill Country museums to offer free admission, thanks to Smithsonian Magazine's annual Museum Day event. Admission will be free on Saturday at MOWA and Bandera's Western Times Museum.
"We are pleased to participate in this year's Smithsonian Magazine Museum Day," MOWA Executive Director Darrell Beauchamp said. "This is an opportunity to introduce the public to our exhibitions and programs that we host year-round. That day, September 17 th , attendees will be the final chance to view Luckenbach Legacy: Hondo's Daughter, Becky Crouch Patterson and the art, tapestries, books and memorabilia that tell the story of a tiny town that achieved national acclaim through Hondo Crouch."
Museum Day tickets are available for download at https://www.smithsonianmag.com/museumday/museum-day-2022/. Visitors who present a Museum Day ticket will gain free entrance for two at participating venues on Saturday. One ticket per email address.
The museums are located:
- MOWA, 1550 Bandera Highway, Kerrville. (830) 896-2553, or visit: museumofwesternart.com.
- The Frontier Times Museum, 510 13th St., Bandera. (830) 796-3864, or visit: frontiertimesmuseum.org