LEDC Community Facilities Project Update - April, 2013
Phase I of the Community Facilities Project has been completed! The rodeo arena held it's first team roping event in April of 2012 for the Llano Crawfish Open, and the arena has been booked almost every weekend since.
The soccer fields were completed 4th quarter 2012 and the first soccer season in 2013 opened on the 3 new fields to the delight of many Llano families.
Phase II of the Community Facilities Project will be the construction of a showbarn on the northwest side of the current facility. It will be a climate controlled barn and home to the Llano Livestock Show each January in addition to other events throughout the year.
These projects all contribute to Llano citizens' quality of life and development of our youth. Additionally, the economic benefit to local businesses has been substantial. Continue to watch with interest as the Llano EDC moves forward with their strategic planning for Llano's future.
LEDC Community Facilities Project Update - September, 2011
(Soccer Fields and Covered Rodeo Arena)
As the City’s new fiscal year begins on October 1st, the Llano Economic Development Corporation (LEDC) would like to thank our citizens for your support and give a status report on the Community Facilities Project (CFP) for the past year. While the LEDC is involved in numerous projects which the local news will continue to cover, we will be submitting periodic updates on this major project in particular to keep the Llano community informed of progress throughout the upcoming year.
At the beginning of the last fiscal year, there had already been a great deal of effort by previous LEDC boards toward implementing a plan for a Llano Multi-Purpose Events Center (MPEC). The need to replace our current community center and rodeo arena is evident, and while it will provide an economic boost for Llano in the future, the newly appointed board chose to consider alternatives to the $5 million proposed project for two driving reasons: (1) a lower cost alternative should be evaluated given the reality of the economic downturn; (2) Llano was interested in seeing something tangible take place toward this goal as soon as possible.
Funding: The proposed MPEC was to be funded by individual and corporate donors and foundation grants, but that funding might take years to collect. The new board felt instead that it was critical to achieve concrete progress as soon as possible. The decision was made to manage the funding of a scaled down version of the project by allocating a larger portion of our budget which comes from sales tax dollars, and taking out a loan secured by a revenue bond from local banks which will be paid out within the next 15 years.
Location: Last fall, as we began to look at the possibility of utilizing a portion of an LEDC-owned 88-acre tract of land on RR152 for new soccer fields, the LEDC began to consider this acreage as an alternative to the proposed Hwy 71 location. While the Hwy 71 location would be convenient to visitors from Marble Falls and Austin, the location on RR 152 is across the street from the current rodeo facility as well as the Robinson Park and Llano River destinations. Visitors to Llano would have to drive through town for events which could greatly benefit our local merchants.
What the CFP includes: After holding a special workshop in January to evaluate alternatives, the LEDC voted to cancel current MPEC contracts and redefined the scope of the project to be: (Phase 1a) soccer fields, covered rodeo arena, and parking; (Phase 1b) show barn - all on 88 acres with the rodeo facility south of the proposed soccer fields; (Phase 2) new community center in approximate position of the current one adjacent to Robinson Park; (Phase 3) amphitheater north of the community center leading downhill toward the pavilion for outdoor events.
Who Benefits: Llano benefits in many ways from the construction of these facilities. 1) The Llano Youth Soccer Association (LYSA) started 11 years ago and has on average 200 children that play in the league, a total of 18 teams this fall. According to Deana Kenner, member of the LYSA, this youth organization has both a fall and spring season which is amazing considering they do not have regulation sized fields or a facility of their own. In addition to providing the facility for our local students, the new complex will allow Llano Youth Soccer to host sanctioned tournaments, which will boost the economy as teams travel to Llano. 2) Beginning in 2012, the new covered arena will host the traditional Llano rodeos held annually including team roping competition during Crawfish Open in April, the Llano Open Pro Rodeo in June, and youth rodeos held throughout the year. 3) These events have always benefited local youth as well as local businesses. Due to the investment being made to create a state of the art facility, the arena will eventually become a significant economic draw for local businesses as Llano schedules additional rodeo events, and visitors come to Llano to dine, shop, and stay overnight.
What you can expect: By April, 2012, the plan is to have the covered arena completed in time for the Llano Crawfish Open team roping events. The soccer fields will be available in fall 2012, contingent upon some rain to supplement irrigation. The LEDC board has decided to pay for this facility before approving future phases of the Community Facilities Project; however, several grants and donations are being investigated to potentially fund the show barn as a short term add-on in the near future. When the bleachers and pens of the current arena are relocated to the new facility, plans can begin on a new Community Center as we find funding, but we are intent on not going further into debt until the current loan is paid.
The LEDC will publish the proposed layout of this new facility just as soon as it is approved which should be within the next month. In the meantime, site preparation is almost complete at which time you will begin to see construction begin on the new rodeo arena.