Rollingwood approves lease with local little league to use Hatley Park

Rollingwood officials approved a lease agreement with Western Hills Little League during a June 17 council meeting. (Courtesy city of Rollingwood)
Rollingwood officials approved a lease agreement with Western Hills Little League during a June 17 council meeting. (Courtesy city of Rollingwood)

Rollingwood officials approved a lease agreement with Western Hills Little League during a June 17 council meeting. (Courtesy city of Rollingwood)

Editor's note: This story incorrectly named Mellisa Morrow as a representative of the park commission. It has been changed to show Morrow is executive director of the West Austin Youth Association.

After more than a year of planning, Rollingwood officials approved a lease agreement for the operation and maintenance of the city's athletic fields that includes five baseball fields and a field house.


The agreement between the city and Western Hills Little League passed during a June 17 virtual council meeting by a 4-1 vote, with Council Member Sara Hutson voting in opposition.

Under the terms of the lease, Western Hills Little League may utilize the city owned, 8.93-acre municipal park known locally as Hatley Park. The agreement was signed with a ten-year term that provides the league with priority access to the park’s fields.

Within the first 12 months of the term, the league has committed to spending at least $30,000 in improvements, which will bring Hately Park to better conditions. The league will also pay an annual rent of $33,000, per the terms of the agreement.



A timeline for future improvements will be completed and provided to the city within 30 days of the effective date of the agreement.

On top of the capital improvements, the league will also be in charge of the field’s general maintenance. Rollingwood has agreed to maintain only the mowing and irrigation needs.

“This is a better deal for the city than what the city had in their past leases,” Council Member Wendi Hundley said.

Upon discussion, the city provided the league with a 10-year lease option, according to Hundley, who said in return the league was willing to contribute funds for improvements.

However, Melissa Morrow, executive director of the West Austin Youth Association, said the organization preferred a shorter leasing term, as youth athletic boards tend to turn over within five years. Morrow also expressed concern related to any necessary improvements in the future.

“I love the idea of them putting $30,000 worth of improvements; it could definitely use it,” Morrow said. “But if you spend your whole wad right now at the very beginning ... for the next two years, you don’t have any money or expectation of capital improvements beyond that.”

The agreement has also attracted public interest. Several members of the community have spoken during prior public hearings on the subject.

Resident Phil McDuffy said he was unaware the city was nearing a final decision and expressed concern regarding certain language within the lease.

“I think we’re making a lot of changes on the fly here,” McDuffy said. “Particularly with the language that says ‘exclusive rights.’”

McDuffy said he was concerned providing the league with exclusive rights to the field would prevent the community from enjoying the amenities.

Following a lengthy discussion, council voted to amend that language, effectively striking the word “exclusive” and changing it to "first right of use.”

By Amy Rae Dadamo
Amy Rae Dadamo is the reporter for Lake Travis-Westlake, where her work focuses on city government and education. Originally from New Jersey, Amy Rae relocated to Austin after graduating from Ramapo College of New Jersey in May 2019.


MOST RECENT

The city of Austin's Smart Mobility Office has partnered with Ford on self-driving vehicle initiatives. (Courtesy Ford Motor Company)
Austin's transportation department paving the way for rise in autonomous vehicle traffic

Several private companies are working on autonomous vehicle initiatives in Austin in addition to the city's own smart infrastructure planning.

Eanes ISD's diversity, equity and inclusion consultant presented the results of a district survey during a May 11 meeting. (Amy Rae Dadamo/Community Impact Newspaper)
Eanes ISD reflects on a year of diversity, equity and inclusion work

Mark Gooden, Eanes ISD’s diversity, equity and inclusion or DEI consultant, provided trustees with an update on the district’s DEI work during a May 11 board meeting.

Goodfolks plans to open in late July to early August. (Ali Linan/Community Impact Newspaper)
New restaurant coming to Georgetown; new Hutto community to have nearly 1K lots and more top Central Texas news

Read the top business and community news from the past week from Central Texas.

Leander ISD
Leander ISD sets district mission statement

This district did not have an existing mission statement.

COVID-19 precautions such as a masking requirement remain in place at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport. (Courtesy Austin-Bergstrom International Airport)
'Signs of hope' on the horizon at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport after year-plus dip in air travel

Rising passenger counts, new airline operations and an increase in vaccinations could all support the airport's recovery in 2021.

Outgoing Mayor Sandy Cox May 13 gave her final video address to the citizens of Lakeway. (Courtesy City of Lakeway)
In final video address, outgoing Lakeway mayor reviews city accomplishments

Sandy Cox said she is honored to have served the City of Lakeway.

The Lake Travis Community Library is now open to the public. (Courtesy Lake Travis Community Library)
Lake Travis Community Library opens its doors to the public

The library welcomed back Lake Travis community members in May.

masks
CDC ends all mask requirements for fully vaccinated people

The guidance states fully vaccinated people do not need to wear masks indoors or outdoors.

West Lake Hills City Council welcomed a new member May 13. (Amy Rae Dadamo/Community Impact Newspaper)
West Lake Hills welcomes new council member, selects mayor pro tem

West Lake Hills welcomed longtime resident Gordon Bowman to the council and selected a new mayor pro tem during the May 13 meeting.