Parks and Recreation Director Stephanie Rollings told council members Wednesday that plans call for an outside restroom and drainage improvements to be added to the 14-acre rose garden as part of a new master plan for the garden.
The total cost is expected to be $39,550, with $15,000 donated by the Texas Rose Festival. The rest of the cost will come from the city’s half-cent sales tax fund.
“We want to make the rose garden a year-round attraction,” Ms. Rollings said. Possible plans include additional gardens within the 14-acre space, tours provided by master gardeners, a children’s attraction and more sidewalks, she said. Those features are not included in the cost approved Wednesday.
The Tyler-based MHS Planning and Design will perform the design work for the rose garden.
Council also approved financing to allow a car wash, a maintenance facility and additional parking spaces to be added to Tyler Pounds Regional Airport so rental cars could be more easily processed.
The expected $1.1 million cost will be financed by the city’s Customer Facility Charge Fund, which can be used for capital projects, Airport Manager Davis Dickson said. Council approved the financing plan, which calls for a revenue bond backed by the Customer Facility Charge to potentially begin the construction in March or April if the council authorizes award of a bid later this month.
“Our rental car business has been very strong at Tyler Pounds Regional Airport for years. With the adoption of the new CFC rate today, the airport will be able to secure adequate funds to construct this needed project,” he said.
Dickson said there are five rental companies housed at the airport, and he thought they would be appreciative of the new facility. Currently, rental cars must be driven to the other side of the airport to be washed and processed in a 20-year-old carwash facility, he said.
In order to fund a rental car wash facility, on July 28, 2010, the airport was authorized to collect a new Customer Facility Charge for maintenance of rental car infrastructure and improvements at the airport, according to information received from the city. The facility charge is a charge on each rental car contract day on any rental car at the airport.
Council also voted to adopt a joint resolution to hold elections with the Tyler ISD, the city of Whitehouse and Smith County on May 11.
The city will hold an election then, not only to fill Jason Wright’s seat in District 6, but for two other seats as well. Sam Mezayek, of District ,1 and Mark Whatley, of District 5, will be up for re-election in May. John Nix, 33, a Lubbock native who has lived in Tyler since 2001, will run for the vacated District 6 seat.
Ralph Caraway, who represents District 3, will not be running again because of term limits, and Edward “Don” Moore, 65, filed in January to run for that seat.
In the past 10 years, city employees have collected about $250,000 for United Way campaigns, City Manager Mark McDaniel said.
“This is wonderful considering the tough economic times in the past few years,” he said.
The Tyler Police Department won the Community Champion Award for the United Way of Smith County for its collection of $21,000.