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2014-07-31

Historical slab in Bandera City Park?

By Judith Pannebaker BCC Editor

Will a bronze plaque be erected to commemorate what remains of a long departed home in City Park?



For those waiting with bated breath, City Administrator Lamar Schulz was not reassigned, disciplined or dismissed at the culmination of a closed executive session during a meeting of Bandera City Council on Thursday, July 17.
The session was, as Schulz had earlier assured the Courier, simply a question and answer period in front of all councilmen and Mayor Don Clark. Apparently, his answers to council's questions proved satisfactory.
At the onset, the meeting was delayed although a quorum was present. It seemed Mayor Don Clark was loath to begin the session without an invocation by county resident Craig Young. After waiting five minutes for Young's arrival, Mayor Clark asked for a moment of silence prior to the recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance. For the record, Young never appeared at the meeting, which begs the question: Couldn't someone on council have said a simple prayer?
When business finally commenced, council discussed the final disposition of a concrete slab that had formerly served as a base for a house in City Park. Councilmen seemed evenly divided as to whether the slab is a menace or a historical attribute to society.
Mayor Clark wanted the slab fenced in or covered with concrete to prevent youths from injuring themselves on protruding pipes and the uneven concrete. If the cement option prevailed, he said the slab could be used as a third pavilion in the future. However, to top the area with four inches of concrete would cost the city $7,800. "We could go to EDC (the City of Bandera Economic Development Corporation) for the funds or forget it and remove the slab by jackhammer," Mayor Clark said.
EDC Director Joe Hearn noted that if trees would have to be cut down to provide access, "It might cost as much removing it as capping it."
Offering background on the slab, Councilman Jim Hannah said a house on the property was washed away during the 1978 flood. "I'm surprised plumbing parts are still coming up after all these years," he said. Hannah opined the site should be preserved to illustrate what could happen to homes constructed in floodplains.
"It's a functional ruin," Hannah said, advising council to make it safe and install picnic tables.
"The slab is uneven and dangerous. It's an attractive nuisance," Mayor Clark rejoined.
"I went down there and I agree with Jim. It's an interesting area," said Mayor Pro Tem John Hegemier.
Director of Public Works Mike Cardenas told council his work crew could shear the pipes off, making the slab less dangerous. And, within a few days of the meeting, that is exactly what happened.
Patricia Moore, executive director of the Bandera County Convention and Visitors Bureau, advised council to wait before deciding about the slab until Paul Barwick had unveiled his master plan for Bandera City Park. "The slab could be considered historical," she said. "It serves a purpose for interpretive values."
However, someone disagreed with its "historical significance," noting, "We don't even know who lived there."
Hegemier asked, tongue-in-cheek, no doubt, "Maybe we could have someone put up a bronze plaque."
Councilman Suzanne Schauman asked Mayor Clark to seek more bids for the concrete work and suggested the item be postponed until the bids were submitted - and it was.