Buda City Council backs away from public-private partnership for Sportsplex

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Buda City Council members voted to indefinitely table the proposal for a public-private partnership that would have provided significant funding for completing the master plan of the Sportsplex in exchange for use of its softball fields.

Council Member Paul Daugereau introduced a motion against pursuing the agreement, citing advice from city attorneys, just after the council returned from executive session at its Feb. 5 meeting.

The 15-year lease would have given Central Texas Fast Pitch Baseball, or CTX, the right to use the Sportsplex softball fields for tournaments during all but six weekends per year. In exchange, CTX would have invested $1.2 million for artificial turf installation, lighting and other improvements.

CTX would also have had to demonstrate an annual $110,000 impact on hotel occupancy for the city of Buda.

City Council Member Evan Ture told Community Impact Newspaper that the city did not want to sign a long-term contract for municipal property without further exploring the risks of public-private partnerships and performance measures on those agreements.

“We’re currently not pursuing it further,” Ture said. “There were performance and contracting risks and counsel advised us, ‘Let’s take a step back.’”

The council may reconsider in the future, but has no current plans to do so, Ture said.

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Katharine Jose has written about politics, infrastructure, environment, development, natural disasters and other subjects for The New York Observer, Capital New York, and The New York Times, among other publications. She was an editor for several publications in New York City before she moved to Texas, and has a master's degree in urban planning from the University of Texas-Austin.
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