Positive reactions to operations and maintenance (O&M) cost estimates for improvements under Proposition 5 of the city’s 2014 bond emerged from the Buda City Council dais June 13.
The projected cost for the O&M for improvements to City Park, as well as the proposed Green Meadows Splash pad and the Garlic Creek Trails is $92,121, according to Drew Wells, Buda parks and recreation director.
“I feel comfortable moving forward with it,” Buda Mayor Todd Ruge said.
Wells said projected O&M costs for City Park might go up after the cost of providing electricity is factored in.
Buda would see a small return in revenue from an increase in festivals and events being booked at the various parks once they are completed, Wells said. That will help mitigate some of the O&M costs.
Council member Lee Urbanovsky praised Wells and the Parks department for their work in gathering the estimates. He admitted that he was prepared to see an overall O&M cost of over $200,000.00 for the Proposition 5 park improvements.
“Part of the price of expanding parks is a higher O&M cost, which the residents could expect when they voted on the bond propositions,” Ruge said.
One way the city could mitigate the cost is implementing an impact fee for incoming developers.
Such a fee would require new developers coming in to either develop existing Buda parkland or pay a fee in lieu of developing a park on their own.
Wells said Chance Sparks, Buda assistant city manager, and he traveled to Fischer Park in New Braunfels to get a scope of what they pay to operate and maintain its new 62-acre park.
But Urbanovsky questioned Wells on heavier staffing requirements for Fischer Park, which has four full-time maintenance workers. Wells projected a 1.75 full-time employee requirement for Buda park improvements.
Wells said parks staffing is handled differently in a larger city like New Braunfels. The current staffing requirements for parks operation is an estimate and may lean toward the conservative side, Wells said.
According to the agenda report, both Green Meadows and the Garlic Creek trails are expected to be complete and operational in fiscal year (FY) 2017-18.
City Park will be in construction during FY 2017-18 and is scheduled for completion in December 2018.
During the presentation to council members, Wells said Buda would experience the financial impact of the O&M costs for City Park improvements for nine months of the FY 2018 budget.
Operation & Maintenance Costs for Buda Parks
How much could it cost for operations and maintenance of Buda park improvements?
- City Park – $54,806
- City Park Splash Pad – $11,500
- Green Meadows splash pad and restroom facilities – $20,000
- Garlic Creek trails – $5,815