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Council sets costs of using Mission properties other matters also addressed Monday

It will cost producers $15,000 to put on a show or concert at Mission’s new Events Center when it opens in March. It’s the highest price of any combination of ways the nearly $18 million, 45,000 square foot facility can be configured for community events.


Besides the events center, the city council also set prices for using city recreational facilities and for telecommunication companies to place equipment on city utility poles. The latter measure is emanated from a law passed in the last Texas legislative session in which cities are now required to allow telecommunication companies to use public utility poles.


On Monday the council approved fees for the installation of “network nodes” and “network node support poles” within city limits. Once the new ordinance is published the city will begin charging $500 per application covering up to five network nodes and $250 for each additional node. The city is also charging $1,000 per application for each pole and $250 a year for telecommunication companies to maintain their right-of-way to the poles.

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The city also set new rates to use public recreational facilities such as parks, gymnasiums, pavilions, tennis courts, swimming pools, walking/running trails and green space. Separate rates were set for residents, non-residents and corporate/commercial entities. Rates for non-profit organizations are set at 50-percent less than the resident rate.


Some examples of the rates set Mission residents are charged $50 a day to rent a pavilion at Bannworth Park while corporate/commercial patrons will pay $150. And residents will pay $250 a day to use the Boys and Girls Club facility while corportate/commercial entities will pay $400 per day.


Mayor Pro Tem Norie Gonzalez Garza said the new rates are intended to keep the city up to date with the community’s increased awareness of the need for physical fitness and increased usage of city facilities.


The rates for recreational facilities and use of the Mission Event Center were the result of separate recent city council work sessions. During the sessions the council agreed to add the category of promoter to the varying rates charged for residents, non-residents, non-profits and corporations for use of the event center.


The most dramatic rate change emanating from the work session was a five fold increase the city will charge for the center’s 2,500 square foot patio which city staff had originally set at $500 and will now cost $2,500.


Garza said the increase was necessary because some other portions of the center cannot be used when just the patio is rented.


“Keep in mind that running a city is like running a business,” said Councilman Dr. Armando O’Caña, “you can’t be in the hole all the time.”


The $2,500 rate for the patio is the same rate residents will be charged to rent the more than 17,000 square foot Grand Orchard ballroom. Corporate clients will pay $6,500
for its use for a night.


Garza and O’Caña said the $15,000 the city plans to charge promoters is still less than what the city of McAllen and Brownsville charge concert promoters.


“Having a concert is not our intent,” O’Caña said of the event center. “Our intent is to have a place for the community to have a decent wedding, quincenearas, graduation party or family reunion.”


O’Caña said the prices remain subject to change in the future based on public feedback.


Also Monday the council approved spending $36,000 on a portable, interlocking dance floor for the event center and $73,000 to upgrade the aging system that keeps vital police communications gear operating during power outages.


The council also authorized the public works department to seek bids on a $200,000 project to overhaul the city’s four sewer lift stations and it authorized a $75,000 expenditure to pay Mission-based Javier Hinojosa

Engineering to develop plans for repaving Kika de la Garza Loop between Conway and Tom Landry Avenues. Public Works Director Robert Salinas said work on the approximately $700,000 project should begin in late February or early March.


The council also took the opportunity to recognize the staff of the city secretary’s office for receiving for the second year in a row the Texas Office of Vital Statistics’ highest honor, the Five Star Exemplary Award. City Secretary Anna Carillo noted the office has received a five star rating from the state since 2003 but the exemplary award was given the past two years in a row.


The council used its last meeting of the calendar year to recognize 20 employees for service ranging from 20 to 35 years to the city. Among them were City Manager Martin Garza Jr., who was recognized for 25 years of service, Police Chief Robert Dominguez for his 30 years of service along with Robert L. Rivera who retired after 30 years at Speer Memorial Library.


And the employee with the longest service was Assistant Police Chief Jose A. Garcia who has been with the city for 35 years.


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