Mockup of the playground set chosen by city council.
By a 4-0 vote at the March 21st meeting, Dilley’s city council voted for the purchase and installation of a new park playground set.
The exact location has not been determined, but council members settled on a to-be-determined area near the city pool.
The $65,000 price tag will include installation and an eight-seat swing set. The council approved an additional $2,250 for a shaded canopy.
Installation is expected to be complete by the first week of May.
Approval of the proposed park restrooms met some resistance. Councilmen Morelsa Aranda and Ray Aranda voted in favor of the proposal from LNV, Inc., while councilmen Gilbert Eguia and Esmeralda Cano voted against the proposal. Mayor Obregon broke the tie to allow LNV, Inc. to begin the bidding process for the restrooms similar to the one pictured below:
While Eguia nor Cano offered a specific reason for their votes against the proposed restrooms, both questioned the funding method during discussion.
LNV estimates that the restrooms pictured above will cost $150,000-$190,000.
City administrator Rudy Alvarez proposed paying for the playground and restrooms from the Hotel Occupancy Tax (HOT) fund.
“Would it not be wiser to pull it out of the reserves?” Cano asked. Currently, the HOT fund stands at $207,000, and the proposed playground and restrooms would deplete the account. Dilley held as much as $870,000 as recently as March 2017, but the new convention center was partially paid through this account.
Eguia asked about an alternative source of funding: past certificates of obligation.
“In the past ten years, I know we’ve had several certificates of obligation,” Eguia said, referring to the ten million dollars in bonds the city has borrowed since 2011 . “Have we not allocated any of that money for parks?”
Alvarez and Mayor Obregon said no. But after a few seconds, Ray Aranda corrected them.
“I believe parks were included, but the facility used most of that money,” Aranda said, referring to the $4 million convention center that has not been rented since construction was completed last summer.
The exact location of the new proposed restrooms has not been determined, but will be “somewhere between the swimming pool and the pavilion.”
–written by Jose Asuncion.
Jose received an MFA from University of Southern California in 2008, a BA from the University of Illinois at Chicago in 2003, and currently lives in Dilley, TX, home of his grandparents.