By BRIAN SMITH
After months of negotiating, Weatherford council members unanimously approved a user agreement between the city and the Weatherford Little League during Tuesday night’s meeting.
The agreement, which will run for 2-1/2 years with an option of extending it at the Parks and Recreation Board’s discretion, has been a bone of contention for the last few months as the city and league worked to hammer out an agreement.
Members of the Parks and Rec board and council believed the league wasn’t doing enough to maintain its end of the original one-year agreement, which expired in December 2012.
With a lot of discussion prior to the vote, the Parks and Rec board voted 4-3 in January to approve the agreement and move the issue to the council for final consideration. Much of the contention came from the league and its previous financial problems, which caused delays and the agreement to expire.
Under the new agreement, user fees will increase $5 for both residents and nonresidents. The league pays all the water and wastewater used by the concession stand.
The league will take care of concession costs and pay for all large maintenance projects, which would then be performed by the city. Under the new agreement, the league will submit all financial reports by April and have them prepared in accordance with general accounting principles, which reportedly was a problem in the past. The contract will also run from July 1-June 30 each year, which is more in line with the city’s budgeting process. Preparations for the upcoming city fiscal year begin in the summer each year.
The league has been working to pay back about $100,000 for the lights installed on seven fields at Soldier Spring Park. Council member Waymon Hamilton questioned if enrollment numbers continued to stay down and the league can’t meet its payment what would the city do.