Following two proposed plans for the management of Rollingwood’s athletic facilities that include five baseball fields and a field house, officials held a second public hearing on what should be in a request for proposals for management of the nearly 9-acre facility.
During a Sept. 30 special meeting, several members of the community spoke during the public hearing.
Marina Breeland, a former Rollingwood Park Commission member, said it is imperative to know what repairs are needed and wanted, including irrigation, fencing, sod and turf, as well as maintenance costs and maintenance and operations schedules and oversight.
Breeland also stressed it is essential to know how future parks will be funded.
Other residents spoke in support of the park and said they hope the city acts in its best interest, especially as it pertains to not reducing the size of its dog park.
The park commission presented a proposal for the management of the athletic facilities Sept. 18, and prior to that a partnership between the city and nonprofit corporation Rollingwood Park Trust Inc. to operate and improve the facility has been under consideration by city officials since June.
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.
Following the proposal from the park commission Sept. 18, council discussed creating another request for proposals for the operation, maintenance and ground lease of Rollingwood’s athletic facilities.
The request for proposals was initially put out earlier this year and had a May 23 deadline. Only one respondent presented its plan to council, and that was followed by debate among officials and residents regarding how the park should be managed.
The request for proposals states the city’s intent in awarding the operation to a private operator is to provide high-quality athletic field services to the public while contributing to the sustainable management of the park.
“The use of the fields for baseball, football, soccer and girls’ softball by Westbank areas associations, which are primarily for youth within the Eanes Independent School District shall be given priority,” the document states.
The park commission will hold the final public hearing on a process for request for proposals for the operation, maintenance, and ground lease of city athletic facilities during a park commission meeting Oct. 1 at 10:30 a.m.
Following that, council will likely issue a new request for proposals at a date to be determined, according to Council Member Gavin Massingill.