Rollingwood Park Commission proposes new plan for management of Hatley Field

The Rollingwood Park Commission presented a proposal for the management of Hatley Field during the Sept. 17 meeting.

The Rollingwood Park Commission presented a proposal for the management of Hatley Field during the Sept. 17 meeting.

The Rollingwood Park Commission presented a proposal for the management of Hatley Field, the centerpiece of the city's recreational aesthetic.

A partnership between the city of Rollingwood and nonprofit corporation Rollingwood Park Trust Inc. to operate and improve Hatley Park has been under consideration by city officials since June, and the new plan, presented during the Sept. 18 regular City Council meeting, provides an alternative to that proposal.

A July 17 public hearing on the Rollingwood Park Trust Inc. proposal saw mixed emotions on how to keep park operations sustainable. Some decried an unnecessary commercialization of the park through the additions of a cafe and signage on the ball fields, while others pressed for the fiscal solvency they hoped would be delivered by the plan.

That initial presentation, first introduced publicly to council June 19, states Rollingwood Park Trust would invest more than $100,000 over 12-36 months of the new agreement for capital repairs, replacements and improvements within the park.

Rollingwood residents Melissa Morrow and Catherine Horne, representing the Park Commission's subcommittee, addressed council during the Sept. 18 meeting and said even though their proposal was billed on the agenda as an alternate, it was largely built from Rollingwood Park Trust's concepts.

Horne said her group wanted to address and fix issues with the park's existing lease, and since the city of Rollingwood officially owns the park, it should have more control over its operations.

The Park Commission subcommittee seeks to retain partnerships long held with Western Hills Little League and Western Hills Girls Softball, according to city documents, but also to evolve those partnerships through new financial terms to become effective Jan. 1.

Overall, the new proposal raises the Western Hills groups' current annual lease from $29,587 to $32,266 for a difference of almost $2,700.

Additionally, the Park Commission seeks to take over duties from the Western Hills entities including field mowing, irrigation maintenance and janitorial services.

"Across the board, that is the issue," Horne said, adding that if the city takes over the bulk of subcontracting for maintenance and other work pertaining to the park, much of its financial issues can be reined in. "All adding a third party does is put it between us and a vendor."

City documents state the alternate proposal would initially keep the annual ground lease the same as it is now at $3,700 but impose increases at years three and five.

Other numbers in the proposal estimate a net cost increase to the two Western Hills groups of $2,769 annually, but the document also stresses the park's fields will be vastly improved due to the reinvigorated maintenance effort.

To make up revenues, the plan assumes an increase in annual park donations from $200 to $5,000, and the proposal states the Park Commission could play a key role in fundraising toward that end.

"Our review of the proposal submitted by Rollingwood Park Trust Inc. highlighted the role that community philanthropy could play to enhance and support our park—and the inadequacy of current programs to attract and support the significant philanthropic potential within our community," the proposal states.

Following the proposal from the Park Commission, council discussed creating another request for proposals for the operation, maintenance and ground lease of Rollingwood's athletic facilities, and will revisit the matter during the next regular meeting as well as at least one other opportunity for public input.
By Brian Rash
Brian has been a reporter and editor since 2012. He wrote about the music scene in Dallas-Fort Worth before becoming managing editor for the Graham Leader in Graham, Texas, in 2013. He relocated to Austin, Texas, in 2015 to work for Gatehouse Media's large design hub. He became the editor for the Lake Travis-Westlake publication of Community Impact in August 2018.


Travis County had an estimated 2,044 active coronavirus cases June 2. (Nicholas Cicale/Community impact Newspaper)
Austin metro COVID-19 hospitalizations at 97 as Travis County cases increase by 73

Travis County had an estimated 2,044 active coronavirus cases June 2.

(Designed by Rachal Russell/Community Impact Newspaper)
Here is how to file a civil rights complaint in the Austin area

Citizens who feel they need to file a civil rights case against law enforcement have several avenues to make a complaint.

The Paramount Theatre put up a message reading "Black Lives Matter" on its awning as protestors marched in the streets the weekend of May 30-31. (Christopher Neely/Community Impact Newspaper)
Austin Justice Coalition executive director: City’s racism is ’unique because it is so subtle’

In a June 1 conversation with Mayor Steve Adler, Chas Moore said Austin's racial issues extend from the police department to everyday microagressions.

Horseshoe Bay opened May 29 with a series of safety procedures in place. (Courtesy Horseshoe Bay)
Horseshoe Bay Resort officially reopens to serve a limited number of guests

Following COVID-19 closures, Horseshoe Bay Resort is now welcoming guests back to its Hill Country-based hotel, restaurant and golf course.

Local businesses came together to sponsor citywide decorations in honor of the graduating class of 2020. (Courtesy Cathy Hoover)
Westlake community joins together in honor of its graduating seniors

The Westlake Chamber of Commerce rallied a list of local businesses to sponsor celebratory decorations that are showcased at three major city corners.

COVID-19 hospitalizations also increased to 97 in the Austin metro. (Community Impact Newspaper staff)
88 new coronavirus cases in Travis County on June 1 set single-day high

COVID-19 hospitalizations also increased to 97 in the Austin metro.

Lakeway City Council
Lakeway officials vote to create emergency management, grant positions

Lakeway City Council voted during a June 1 special meeting to create positions for an emergency management coordinator and a grants program manager.

Lakeway's hotel tax funds, which now total more than $6 million, can only be used for the promotion of tourism within a city. (Courtesy Fotolia)
Officials in Lakeway continue brainstorming possible uses of hotel tax coffer for pandemic relief

Lakeway City Council continued talks about how officials could best utilize monies from its hotel tax fund to help those hurt by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Lakeway City Council discussed possible ballot propositions regarding the city charter for a November election. (Courtesy Fotolia)
Lakeway officials make headway toward November ballot propositions regarding term lengths, elections

Lakeway voters could decide on November ballot propositions ranging from the city's power to modify its boundaries to the length of terms of office for council members.

Protesters and Texas Rangers stood face to face during demonstrations at the Texas Capitol on May 31. (Christopher Neely/Community Impact Newspaper)
National, state, local officials continue to blame outside agitators for turning protests violent over the weekend

As violence erupted in Austin and cities across the country over the weekend, leaders from all ranks said outside groups usurped the demonstrations and turned them chaotic.

Businesses shuttering their doors due to coronavirus restrictions lowered the sales tax revenue collected by cities in May compared to May 2019. (Andy Li/Community Impact Newspaper)
Texas comptroller reports 13.2% year-over-year state sales tax revenue drop in May

Tax collection revenue fell significantly in several sectors from May 2019 to May 2020, according to the comptroller's office.

Bull Creek
UT study finds water runoff in Austin responsible for more than half of stream flow into Bull Creek

A recent study found municipal water sources, such as irrigation runoff or wastewater leakage, account for at least half of Bull Creek’s stream flow in some urban areas.