With the goal of becoming a player in the state and regional softball tournaments, the Bangs City Council approved $30,000 bid for bleacher shades.

Mayor Pro Tem Marisa Craddock presented the purchase request from the parks and recreation department to the city council in lieu of Mayor Eric Bishop’s absence, following up with discussions between Bishop and the parks board during its meeting last Monday.

“Waymond  (Sheppard, city councilman) had gotten some pricing and Eric had gotten some pricing,” Craddock said. “The bottom line was he thought he could get it all done for less than $30,000 – using $5,000 from the parks and recreation already has, asking [Bangs Municipal Development District] for a minimum of $10,000 to be added to that in order to get this ordered and put up.”

Sheppard said luring teams and leagues to have tournaments at the events center is difficult because of how low it required attendees to sit in shade-less stands. The funds needed from the city to purchase the bleacher shades would come from those previously allocated to the currently vacant city administrator position.

“It would be a positive thing to spend the money on. Something the whole community could benefit from,” Councilwoman Carrol Wells said.

Wells motioned the city shift $15,000 from its city administrator budget and combine it with $10,000 from parks and recreation. The motion would be contingent on the municipal development district passing a $5,000 expenditure. However, that decision will not come for a few weeks with the BMDD not meeting until Feb. 25th.

The changes come only a few months since Bangs launched its movie in the park program with the purchase of a $3,000 outdoor movie screen. Before resigning in late January, then Bangs City Councilman and Parks and Recreation President Toby Bowers hoped to make the event center a city gathering place for a variety of events.

“It’s huge for a community the size of Bangs,” Bowers said. “Especially around bigger cities, you’re starting to see a lot of people moving into small communities. We’ve always kind of been a neighbor to Brownwood and everything everybody wants is just 8 miles down the road. We’re really wanting to begin to develop things that keep people at home and have things at home to do so they don’t have to travel elsewhere.”

The city council also:

Tabled appointing a representative to the Brown County Appraisal District due to the absence of Mayor Bishop.

Held an executive session regarding future development and the effect a countywide location option election and permitting the sale of alcohol within city limits.

Received a request from cattleman Greg McDonald regarding use of city property based on a previously approved request from the city.