The City of Shenandoah hosted a Town Hall meeting Dec. 5, to discuss the Toddler Park fence, a potential dog park and water and trash fees with residents.

To view the Town Hall meeting, click here.

Shenandoah City Council will meet for the last time in 2017 on Dec. 13 at 7 p.m.

Here are a few takeaways from the meeting:

  1. Toddler Park Fence

A potential fence at Shenandoah’s Toddler Park has been a topic of debate among residents and council members since the park first opened at 315 Shenandoah Drive, Shenandoah, in June 2016. During that time, four fence routes and three fence material options have been discussed at various price points.

The council originally approved a fence during the June 28 meeting, however during the Aug. 9 meeting, council decided to table the item until a town hall meeting could be held to gauge interest from residents.

Kenny Eickelberg, director of capital projects and infrastructure, presented three options during the meeting, which included an aluminum fence, a steel tube fence or boxwood shrubs in place of a fence.

Concerns raised by residents during the town hall meeting included the liability of leaving the park unfenced, how a fence would accommodate the drainage ditch located adjacent to the park, if gates should be added to enhance security and to what height the fence should be built.

As no decisions or deliberations took place during the town hall meeting, council will further discuss the matter at a future city council meeting.

2. Trash and water fees
Public Works Director Joseph Peart discussed changes to residents’ trash and water fees during the town hall meeting.

As approved in the FY 2017-18 budget, the city opted to absorb monthly trash fees for residents, creating a cost savings of $19.29 per month—or $225 annually—for each single-family home in Shenandoah.

With this change, residents who opt to recycle will continue to pay a monthly fee of $6.33 for the optional service.

Peart also explained the changes to water fees as a result of the Lone Star Groundwater Conservation District and Shenandoah’s Groundwater Reduction Plan.

In 2016, LSGCD had a fee of 6 cents per 1,000 gallons of water consumed. That fee increased to 75 cents in 2017 and will increase again Jan. 1 to 11 cents.

During the town hall, residents questioned why the LSGCD fee increases were occurring and if they would increase again after Jan. 1.

“I’m the designated person that goes to all the LSGCD meetings each month, and right now they are predicting that [those fees] might have to still go up with or without the lawsuit,” Eickelberg said. “The lawsuit had a tentative agreement about a month or month and a half ago, but being an outsider looking in, it’s hard to say why they’re still spending as much money and needing more money.”

Simultaneously, Shenandoah’s GRP decreased from 60 cents per 1,000 gallons of water consumed to 55 cents.

3. Dog park
During the final portion of the town hall meeting, Interim City Administrator Kathie Reyer discussed the possibility of a dog park in Shenandoah, as council members had previously asked for it to be discussed at the request of residents.

In the very preliminary stages of discussion, no decisions have been made on if a dog park will be built, the location, the size or what features the park would include, if built.

Residents had mixed responses as to whether or not a dog park should be built in city limits, as there are already seven dog parks nearby in The Woodlands and other parts of Montgomery County surrounding Shenandoah.

Liability and parking were both concerns also brought up regarding a potential dog park.

The item will likewise be further addressed by council at a future meeting.