Hays County Commissioners Extend PSA Regarding Capes Dam Preservation Proposal

Hays County Commissioners Extend PSA Regarding Capes Dam Preservation Proposal

By, Terra Rivers, Managing Editor

On Tuesday, the Hays County Commissioners Court voted to allow the Hays County Judge to execute an addendum to the Professional Services Agreement regarding a proposal for the preservation of Capes Dam.

In June, the commissioners approved a PSA with Vista Planning and Design to develop a conceptual proposal for the preservation of Capes Dam for the San Marcos City Council.

The addendum extended the PSA in order to prepare for and present to the San Marcos City Council in conjunction with officials from Hays County.

Vista Planning and Design would present the results of the master planning study performed regarding the San Marcos River Section east of I-35.

General Counsel, Mark Kennedy, said the City Council has requested a presentation of the details of the county’s proposal for the preservation of Capes Dam.

According to Kennedy, the City of San Marcos owns Thompson’s island and has a management agreement for Stokes Park, which is owned by the state. 

Hays County Judge Ruben Becerra said the plan was a partnership with the city to improve access for the community, which he loved, and help manage.

Commissioner Debbie Ingalsbe-Gonzales said the county was not trying to circumvent the City of San Marcos’s decision; after reviewing the presentation, the San Marcos City Council will decide whether to move with the project.

Ingalsbe-Gonzales also said the county was still in negotiations but at this time did not have definitive plans to take over ownership of the site.

The Hays County Historical Commission expressed interest in being involved in the creation of a conceptual master plan to preserve the 150-year old structure earlier this year.

The commission was able to identify funds in its general fund operating budget to cover the initial cost of the PSA with Vista Planning and Design, which was $5,187.50.

Hays County Historical Commission Chair, Kate Johnson, said the proposal would include a diagram or map of the addition of parking, trails, picnic tables and markers noting the environment and history of the area for Stokes Park and Thompson’s Island.

The extension to the contract will cost an additional $2,500, according to the agenda.

In 2016, the San Marcos City Council voted to remove the damn and restore the river’s natural flow with the help of U.S. Fish and Wildlife.  

However, the City of San Marcos experienced issues during the permitting process, and the funding from U.S. Fish and Wildlife is no longer available. 

Addendum #1 to the Professional Services Agreement with Vista Planning and Design passed 5-0. 

Kennedy said the San Marcos City Council is slated to receive the presentation in late September or sometime in October. 

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