The Waxahachie parks and recreation department anticipates implementing a pavilion-reservation system Jan. 1, director John Smith said in an interview Tuesday.
Presently, the pavilions operate on a “first-come, first-served” basis, Smith said, saying the new policy would apply to the city’s four park pavilions: the two in Getzendaner Memorial Park, the one in Chapman Park off Brown Street and the one at Lions Park off of Howard Road.
While specifics have yet to be determined, Smith said the department would like to put the policy into place at the first day of the year for a number of reasons, including that winter is typically a down time for the parks.
“Hopefully, people will find out about the new policy before the spring comes along,” Smith said, saying the city will post signs at each of the pavilions to inform the public.
The new policy will provide several benefits, including helping to maintain the pavilions and to avoid disagreements, he said. “There have been a few conflicts but mostly it’s all the calls I get.”
Smith said he hasn’t received many reports of incidents but has heard a number have gone unreported.
“I did hear that one of my employees had to go intervene (in one situation),” Smith said, explaining there was a disagreement about the use of tables at the pavilion.
Reserving the pavilion would not cost much, Smith said, adding it could turn out to be “maybe $20 for half a day.” Also, by knowing who is using the pavilions, the city would be able to hold someone accountable for things such as not picking up after themselves or damage.
The idea of a security deposit has also been discussed, Smith noting that would help pay for the extra time and resources the department has to put into cleaning or repairing the structures.
All rates will be put to the parks board for consideration, Smith said, adding it would be its decision to determine a price schedule and structure.
“The pavilions - especially the ones at Getzendaner - are heavily used and I think a reservation system will help the public,” Smith said.
E-mail Anthony at Anthony.Trojan@waxahachiedailylight.com