— By BRIAN SMITH
Tourism is the hot topic on tonight’s Weatherford city council meeting agenda.
The meeting starts at 6:30 p.m. at City Hall, 303 Palo Pinto St.
Mayor Dennis Hooks suggested bringing up the topic at a council meeting two weeks ago, asking if council members had any ideas on how to boost tourism in the city. Bringing people to Weatherford was one of the major desires of a report that came out earlier this year on improving the city.
City staff and community members are working on a downtown plan to help increase accessibility as part of a revitalization of the area. Some of the ideas have included a downtown parking garage and an inner loop to keep trucks off the square. Nothing has been decided as of yet.
Weatherford Chamber of Commerce has a tourism committee and hosts two festivals every year: the Parker County Peach Festival in July and Christmas on the Square in December, which bring thousands of people into the downtown area. The city gives the Chamber more than $100,000 out of its hotel and motel tax revenue monies every year.
The city also hosts a pair of festivals: the Weatherford Blooms Festival in April and this weekend’s Hometown Heritage Stampede as additional ways of bringing people to the area. Suggestions of having smaller events each month have been suggested.
Other activity on tonight’s agenda include:
• Amending parts of the city ordinance concerning animal control to change “police chief” to “city manager.”
Staff recommends amending the ordinance for two reasons: the police chief no longer supervises the animal shelter; and placing these duties with the city manager or his/her designee accommodates any personnel changes that might occur within the shelter, which could leave the city without a designated local rabies control authority.
Chapter 826 of the Texas Health and Safety Code pertains to rabies control. It states that the governing body of each municipality shall designate an officer to act as such an authority.
• Discussion of meeting dates for November and December. In past years, city council has met just once in each of the two months because of holidays.
Council regularly meets the fourth Tuesday of each month. Thanksgiving falls on the fourth Thursday and Christmas the fourth Wednesday.