County residents will again be able to use the Butt-Holdsworth Memorial Library for free starting Jan. 1.
The Kerrville City Council unanimously approved Tuesday evening an agreement with Kerr County through which the county will provide animal control services inside the city, and county residents living outside of Kerrville will be able to use the library for free.
The agreement ends a five-year period during which county residents had to pay to use the library after the county ceased to financially support it.
The city will not be out any extra costs — at least for now. City Manager Mark McDaniel said the library’s accreditation should allow it to serve a population of up to 50,000, and no additional staff are anticipated.
Kerr County Precinct 2 Commissioner Tom Moser told The Kerrville Daily Times that one full-time and one part-time employee will be added to the animal control staff to provide service inside the city, including keeping the facility open five days a week.
“The library is critically important to county residents,” said Moser, thanking the city and county staffs for being creative in reaching a solution. “We’re all going to benefit.”
One of the changes the county commissioners had requested — a first review after three months of operation — was readily accepted by the city council.
“That makes a lot of sense,” said Councilman Warren Ferguson.
The council approved authorizing the issuance of up to $20 million in bonds and authorized city staff to select outstanding obligations to be refinanced.
McDaniel said he intended to bring the refinancing issue to the council in January, but legislation now pending in Congress would eliminate the process the city would use effective Dec. 31.
He emphasized the city was not incurring new debts, only restructuring old ones to save money.
In response to a question from Councilman George Baroody, Anne Becker Entrekin, managing director of Hilltop Securities, estimated that the city could save up to $650,000 through the refinancing.
River Trail West
The council approved a contract with M&C Fonseca Construction Co. for the River Trail West improvements project.
The work will cost $649,658, and the city manager was authorized to approve additional change orders that would bring it up to $715,000.
This phase will extend the trail west of Town Creek, tie into the recently completed Lowry Park extension, then west to the Dietert Center with another tie-in to Guadalupe Street.
Deputy City Manager E.A. Hoppe said the city had good results with the bidding process, and the accepted bid was 13 percent lower than engineers estimated for the work.