Parks Board discusses process for naming areas of City Park
Members of the City’s Parks & Recreation Board agreed Tuesday that a process should be developed for naming opportunities at City Park.
Last fall, the Board was asked to consider naming City Park in memory of longtime city council member Charles Canady, who passed away in October 2014. Canady, who also served as Liberty Hill mayor, was instrumental in obtaining the 22-acre park for the City of Liberty Hill.
“There are many in Liberty Hill who have made important contributions to the community,” said Parks Board Chair Mary Lynn Jones. “We need a process in place.”
She suggested a form be created that would provide opportunity to list an individual’s contributions to the community and suggested ways that he or she should be recognized.
“We could place a plaque with a photo and a list of contributions,” she said. “We should also decide how different areas of the park could be named.”
The Board noted that various parts of Lions Foundation Park had been named a few years ago for individuals who had made significant contributions to the park through the years.
Boatright suggested the Board research the process used by Leander ISD to name schools. He said the district holds public hearings to collect community input on naming facilities.
“It’s (naming something after an individual) always dicey territory,” Boatright said. “Everyone has their supporters and detractors.”
Jones said she believes it’s important to gather the family’s input in the process, and added that she has spoken to the Canady family about the issue.
“Charles Canady did a lot for the community, and we do want to honor that,” she said. “I do think the Parks Board needs to honor him for all he has done, but we need more input from the family on that.”
Also Tuesday, the Board reviewed a survey taken in 2005 of citizens’ views on the park amenities that were most important to them. The survey had 155 respondents, with 117 of those listing a swimming pool as their top interest. Other amenities in the top 10 were a covered pavilion, walking/bike trail, BBQ pits and picnic tables, a playscape, splash garden, tennis courts, basketball courts, mini golf course and rock climbing area.
Of those items, the City has since 2005 constructed a pavilion, picnic tables, a playscape and basketball courts. City Park is home to soccer fields managed by the Liberty Hill Youth Soccer Association and a football field managed by Liberty Hill Youth Football & Cheer.
Both organizations have contracts with the City for use of the park. Those contracts were renewed by the City Council in recent weeks.
Boatright informed the Board that the City will have an additional $50,000 to be used on parks this fiscal year as a result of development agreements with Tractor Supply and Liberty Place subdivision of duplexes. He said the funds were not budgeted because the agreements were approved since the budget was adopted in September 2014.
Boatright also reviewed for members the ongoing negotiations between the City’s Economic Development Corp. and the Liberty Hill Development Foundation, which owns Lions Foundation Park. The two entities have been discussing proposals for funding a sculpture park inside Foundation Park, and part of those discussions involve future ownership of the park.
“We feel like if we’re going to make a major investment there, then it’s time for the City to take over the park,” Boatright said. “But not to the point where the (Development Foundation) Board is excluded. We still want their input on the museum and sculpture park. If we can give them reassurance and keep the board active and engaged, that’s how we get there.”