LAMPASAS — City leaders received more information Tuesday during a special workshop session about plans to build a civic and community center.
Council members learned more about available funding and began to outline the city’s responsibility in managing the facility after completion.
“I just wanted to comment on some questions the council had in previous meetings,” City Manager Finley deGraffenried said. “There are two primary questions — one is, what was available in terms of reserves that perhaps could be used for civic center/equestrian
enter/event center, and second, is it allowable to use hotel occupancy tax funds. Very conservatively, there’s about $1.8 million, and there are a lot of ‘ifs’ in that.”
DeGraffenried explained the city is in good financial shape to proceed with the project, and he reported the city is projecting an approximate $470,000 surplus from the 2013 budget report.
“We have also, in our 2014 budget, committed about $1.9 million in retained earnings,” deGraffenried said. “Some of those we fully intended to use as self-funded debt, but this is probably the most conservative look at what is available. And, at the end of the day, yes, you can use hotel/motel revenue for this project,”
City officials identified city-owned property on Farm-to-Market 580 that could be donated toward the project; however, the council’s general consensus was the city does not want the responsibility for management and financial upkeep once the facility is built.
Mayor Pro Tem Chris Harrison expressed a desire to see two separate facilities in the scope of the project. One facility would be a civic/community center, and the second would be an equestrian/rodeo/event center. Council member Robert McCauley suggested the two centers share a mutual parking lot for public accessibility.
During the council’s regular council meeting Tuesday, Police Chief Tim Angermann updated the council on police department activity and the status of an investigation into last week’s bank robbery at Extraco Bank in Lampasas.
“We hired a police officer last week, and we’re up to full staff for the first time in quite a while,” Angermann said. “As y’all know, we had a bank robbery last week, and we’re working on it at this time. We were very lucky in getting information out with the state’s assistance and FBI, and we’re hoping we can catch him pretty quick before he hurts somebody.”