The City of Nixon officially moved into its new City Hall and Community Center building at 302 E. Central Ave. this month and city officials are hoping residents will take advantage of the amenities the facility has to offer.
City Hall, which is located next to the Dollar General, has a fully-modern council chambers, complete with flat-screen TV displays and a state-of-the-art sound system as well as office space for city administrative departments and a drive-up window for the utility department.
Also in the building is a community building that seats 315 people (250 at tables) with a full-service kitchen that can be rented out for parties, weddings, banquets, meetings and other special events.
“It’s for the community and for the kids,” said Mayor Pro Tem Justin La Fleur. “No one else has anything here in the city of Nixon that is climate controlled like this.”
“And if you live in the city of Nixon, your rate is lower since it is taxpayer money that paid for the building, so we’re going to give them a little break on the rental, but we still have to be able to pay for our insurance and our electric bill and the water bill,” added City Manager Harold Rice.
“We give county residents a break, too, on rentals because they come through here and spend money in our stores and some of our budget is dependent on the sales taxes that are generated in the community,” La Fleur said. “With this hall, for a small donation, youth groups in the community are allowed to use it at no charge, which is something they didn’t have before.”
The entire project was three years in the making and came about when the state notified the city of deficiencies and health hazards at the old police station at 106 W. Third St., La Fleur said.
“(The police station) had bat feces, mold and just was not a good place,” La Fleur said. “We were taxed with determining if we were going to build a new PD, or why don’t we just move PD to the old City Hall and build a new City Hall. We caught a lot of flak about it, but we were doing this for the people of Nixon.”
The process began in earnest in the fall of 2018 and procured the parcel the building was on about a year and a half ago for $85,000. Then, after the design phase was completed with Tim Gescheidle of TSG Architects AIA in Gonzales, the city signed a contract with Northstar Elite Construction and Consulting of New Braunfels to build the new building in November 2020 at a cost of about $2.2 million. The city then bought an additional parcel next door to make sure there was ample parking space available.
“The lengthy part of the process was getting back the architectural plans to the council and for all of us to agree on what needed to be done — going ‘add this, no change this.’ That was a six-to-eight month process,” La Fleur said.
The city took out a 30-year note with Third Coast Bank that is being paid through the debt service tax rate, and Rice said the city also retired some of its outstanding debt early to help achieve savings.
“We’ve got roughly $150,000 in debt that came off and was paid off early. Our police cars, Well No. 6, and a jet machine for the outside laborers all came off the books to help lower the amount of debt the city had in order to offset this cost. Actually, we saved a little bit more money by doing that,” Rice said.
“We also tried to stay as local as we could when it came to who we used to help build the building to cut down the costs.”
Nixon residents can rent the building during weekdays for $200 per day with a $500 deposit, or for $500 per day or $1,250 all weekend on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. County residents pay $300, $750 and $1,850 with the $500 deposit, while out of county residents pay $400, $1,000 and $2,500.
There is also a conference room that can be rented in addition that serves nicely for a bridal suite for weddings, Mayor Dorothy Riojas said.
For more information about how to rent the Nixon Community Center, call (830) 582-1924.