Nixon makes a splash

Roosevelt Street picked as splash pad location


With a split 3-2 vote, Nixon City Council selected Roosevelt Street as the location for the city’s future splash pad. Alderpersons Estevan “Steve” Aguirre, Maggie Gaytan and Mark Soto voted for the Roosevelt Street location, while Alderpersons Justin B. La Fleur and Mary Ann Fatheree dissented.

The decision was between two spots: Roosevelt Street, near the 500 block of E. 4th Street, and near where the city plans to build a future baseball complex off S. Rancho Road.

Those that voted in favor of Roosevelt Street admired the city-centric location of the spot, as opposed to the outskirts where the baseball complex is planned, and it being a more cost-efficient location to hook up water to. City Manager Harold Rice estimated it would cost $1,000 to hook up sewer and water lines at Roosevelt Street, while the baseball complex would cost around $2,000 to do the same. Another mentioned detractor for the baseball complex plan was the high amount of semi-truck traffic around the area.

La Fleur cited noise complaints from a residential standpoint as one of the primary reasons for his vote against. The Roosevelt Street location is surrounded by housing, whereas the future baseball complex spot is more isolated.

“My only concern y’all is, even if it’s (the splash pad) not in use, people using it for a recreation or gathering area, have a big party,” La Fleur said. “Even if it’s shut off, go to the parking lot and people can gather there and still disturb the neighbors.”

In response to La Fleur’s concerns, Gaytan said, “I think if there was that big of a concern, somebody would be here.” No residents appeared to speak on the splash pad during the public hearing.

Fatheree based her decision on what she described as a “majority” of members of the Nixon First United Methodist Church she spoke with having concerns with the Roosevelt Street location and liabilities the church may be burdened with due to the proximity of the pad. Though no representatives from the church attended the council meeting, Rice said he had spoken with Nixon First UMC Pastor Rhonda Troll and he said she had only minor issues with the location such as, noise, trash and parking. In response, Rice said the city could pick up trash at the park daily, enforce the city’s noise ordinance more strictly and set the pad to operate around times convenient to the church.

Nixon First UMC trustee chair Johnny Hewell lauded the city for being willing to accommodate the church’s needs.  

“I’ve talked with the council people and they are willing to work with us,” Hewell said. “We would love to have stuff for children.”

Council unanimously selected Texas-based Krasftman, LLC as the project contractor. Kraftsman has built several splash pads around the area, such as in Karnes City and Pleasanton. Though a contractor was selected, details of the contract, including timeline and budget, are still being refined. Council plans to hold a workshop meeting with Kraftsman at a later date. Though a timeline is still being figured out, Rice did mention the city plans to have the splash pad operational by summer 2020.

Other news from the meeting:

  • Rene de la Garza, Gonzales County Emergency Services District 1 board president, explained the ongoing merger between his entity and the Gonzales County Emergency Medical Services and Rescue to the council during public comments. De la Garza reaffirmed his groups commitment to the area and asked for support in the forthcoming transition.
  • One resident did appear to speak during public comment, but it was regarding speeding in her neighborhood.