A Nimitz Lake boating center could be on the horizon after the City of Kerrville conducted a study to see if the project would sink, sail or paddle.
The Kerrville City Council heard the results of the study during a workshop on Tuesday. The study was simply conceptual, and there is no proposed project, said City Manager Mark McDaniel.
“At this point, we don’t know how it would be funded, who would operate it, how big it would be, what it would look like or if it would even be done,” McDaniel said.
The study was funded by the MacDonald Companies, a real estate developer that is developing a riverside mixed-use project on the southwest side of the 95 acres on Nimitz Lake.
A 1.5-acre site on the McDonald property has been identified as a possible spot for the boating facility and a small marina.
Consultant Austin Powers of Kimley Horn made the presentation to four members of the council — Councilman Gary Cochrane was not present.
Powers showed examples of similar projects in The Woodlands, Waco, Austin and Dallas.
“Nimitz Lake is a very important resource,” Powers said. “I think everybody agrees that the recreational value is kind of unlimited potential. There are so many things you can do out there. It’s highly supported. The thing is, is there a feasible space to do what we need to do?”
Powers said the area could play host to small-boat sailing, paddle boarding, crew, kayaking and dragon boat racing. The lake is already home to standup paddleboarding and rowing. It’s also a venue for the swimming portion of the Kerrville Triathlon Festival.
Powers added that boating activities are often something that people can stick with once they start, so it would be good for many age groups. It could also draw the attention of college-age people, providing the opportunity for college boating clubs in the future.
The three rough concepts the study considered for Kerrville included an area with parking and a boat launch, a mini marina — which would have no parking — or a breakwater marina with parking. All would connect to the Kerrville River Trail, a walking trail that runs along the Guadalupe River.
Since the area is in the floodplain, any building would have to accommodate for potential floods or droughts, Powers said. The area is also really small, so any project would have to have parking as a consideration.
“When you start increasing the use of your lake, you’re going to have to start increasing the parking, the access points and things of that nature,” Powers said. “Right now, I feel like it’s pretty minimal, what you have.”
The pricing for the Kerrville concepts ranges from $500,000 to $3 million.
The idea for a boating center study did not originate from the city government; rather, it came from a grassroots group of people interested in recreational and competitive sailing, McDaniel said.
Those who expressed interest in the first place and/or were interviewed for the study include local resident John Anderson, Schreiner University, the MacDonald Companies, the city of Kerrville, the Upper Guadalupe River Authority and the Kerrville Convention and Visitors Bureau.
Now that the study is complete, the next step is for council, city staff and/or interested stakeholders to consider whether a boating center is something they want to pursue, said McDaniel.
“We really don’t have a clear path forward at this point,” McDaniel said.
Officials also talk drainage project
A drainage plan has taken one step forward after Kerrville City Council approved $176,800 to go toward project design.
The area in question is around Take-It-Easy RV and Lois Street, both of which are in need of drainage improvements, according to a letter from Hewitt Engineering Inc. — who is designing the project — to the city.
The construction will cost nearly $2 million. That will go toward creating the infrastructure that allows the streets to handle more water flow at a faster and safer rate and prevent further loss of property and mobile home structures.
These improvements are listed on the city’s Stormwater Master Plan, an effort to improve the city’s drainage.
The council also talked about personnel on the Planning and Zoning Commission and the Senior Services Advisory Committee.
The council went into a closed session to discuss appointments to the Planning and Zoning Commission but voted to postpone making a decision due to council member Gary Cochrane’s absence.
For the Senior Services Advisory Committee, there has been a recent issue with too many people resigning or being absent, resulting in a recent meeting having to be canceled. Thus, the council voted to reduce the number of people on the committee from 16 to 14 members.
This will change the minimum number of people needed to conduct business at a meeting from nine to eight.
Also approved on the agenda was a banking services agreement, support of a request for funding from the Texas Water Development Board to improve the city’s water system and purchasing new operational equipment.