Newly elected council members Tim Kelly and Rodney Robinson officially joined the Cedar Park City Council, and Anne Duffy was affirmed after re-election to her Place 3 seat last Thursday. From there, the council got to business, approving a design contractor for the city’s new Lakeline Park project, and approving naming of the sidewalk at the city’s Veterans Memorial Park to “Pathway of Heroes.”
During the swearing-in ceremony near the beginning of the council meeting, Place 5 Council Member Robinson said joining the council is a proud moment for him, thanking his wife, two boys and campaign team.
“I want thank God. I’m a man of faith and I believe in God… I believe God put me into this position for a reason and to make a difference in people’s lives,” Robinson said. “I’m truly humbled and I’m ready to serve the citizens of Cedar Park — all citizens.”
Robinson added that he loves the city, its people, and said he wants to preserve the city’s “small town sense of flavor.”
Later, during his closing remarks, Robinson said he wants to show he will be an accessible member of council, emphasizing his point by publicly sharing his cell phone number during the meeting: 737-701-4141.
During his opening remarks, Kelly thanked all the campaign staff that Robinson had thanked as well as many additional individuals who had helped him with his own campaign.
He also thanked his wife, his children and the citizens of Cedar Park.
“This is an honor. This is an honor. It really is and I appreciate it,” Kelly said.
Council member Mike Guevara was named the new Mayor Pro Tem, a position that is often called upon to fulfill the duties of the mayor when the mayor himself or herself is unavailable. Duffy served as Mayor Pro Tem prior to Guevara.
During its first session, the new council unanimously approved the selection of Halff Associates, Inc. to design Phase 1 of the city's Lakeline Park project. The award was for an amount up to $795,000.
Phase 1 will include construction primarily on the north side of the park and will include a multi-purpose pavilion, a multi-purpose practice fields, a kayak launch, a fishing pier, a playground and wildflower meadows, in addition to more than three miles of trails.
The improvements themselves are estimated to cost $8.55 million, including $1.05 million for road and utility improvements.
The council approved the Lakeline Park Master Plan in December 2018 and selected the park features to be completed in Phase 1 of the project in March 2019. According to the council’s agenda item, funding of the project is expected to come from a variety of sources including General Obligation Bonds, a grant from Texas Parks and Wildlife, the 4B Community Development Board and the city's Utility Fund.
Halff Associates has previously worked on several regional projects, including the Lakeline Park Master Plan, the master planning and design for Georgetown’s Garey Park and the master planning and design of portions of the Brushy Creek Regional Trail.
City staff estimated at previous council meetings that the Lakeline Park project will take two and a half years to complete.
The Council also unanimously approved a request by the Parks, Arts and Community Enrichment (PACE) Advisory Board to seek bids to install a granite ribbon with the phrase “Pathway of Heroes” near the front end of the walk to Gold Star Families Monument and Memorial Plaza at Veterans Memorial Park.
PACE Board Chair Andy de Bruyn said the board would like to name the sidewalk leading from the parking lot, past the statues and to the rotunda. He said the board feels naming the sidewalk would provide “another level of recognition, honor and dignity to the place.”
“The name we came up with after months of talking is ‘Pathway of Heroes,” de Bruyn said. “It will be first tile as you have on the floor as you walk into (the plaza).”
Council Members Kelly and Mel Kirkland noted that the specific location of the ribbon could be important, so they asked to be kept informed about whether the PACE Board ultimately ends up deciding to place the ribbon.
Robinson said he considers the improvement a great idea to honor veterans and encouraged seeking more improvements to the plaza into the future.