The City of San Marcos announced Friday that riverfront parks, public facilities, neighborhood park playgrounds, athletic complexes, and tennis and basketball courts, would reopen beginning Wednesday at 8 a.m. Above, Jose Vasquez and Richard Nieto begin clearing the fencing placed around the city's parks. Daily Record photo by Lance Winter
City to Reopen Parks, River Access & Facilities on Sept. 16
After a nearly three month closure, the City of San Marcos announced that it will reopen its public facilities, riverfront parks, neighborhood park playgrounds, athletic complexes, and tennis and basketball courts, beginning Wednesday, Sept. 16 at 8 a.m.
The city will also reopen the Children’s Park Playscape on Friday, Sept. 18 due to previously scheduled tree work. Capes Park, Thompson’s Island and Rio Vista pool, however, will remain closed.
“Over the past few weeks, our area has experienced a steady decline in active cases and a sustained low number of new cases with fewer hospitalizations, which are the indicators we tracked and based our opening decisions upon throughout this pandemic,” City Manager Bert Lumbreras said in a statement. “As we welcome the public back to enjoy our facilities, parks and beautiful river, we ask that the community remains diligent in following CDC guidelines, local and state mandated regulations and works together to continue to stop the spread of COVID.”
The city is asking anyone who is experiencing COVID-19-related symptoms to refrain from entering its facilities, parks or recreational areas. The city will post signage at all facilities and parks requesting visitors to follow guidelines set by the Centers of Disease Control, including wearing a face mask and maintaining at least six feet of social distance from those who don’t reside in the same home.
The city is also asking customers to conduct business remotely as much as possible through online access, emails, phone, utility billing drive-thrus or by appointment to avoid person-to-person contact with employees and other residents. The city has installed sanitizing stations and plexiglass screens in its public facing areas within buildings. The city said it will require masks for everyone over 10 years of age inside public facing facilities. Masks will be made available at all facilities for those who don’t have one, the city said.
“Our goal is to keep our facilities and parks open and accessible to all,” Lumbreras said. “To achieve this, we encourage everyone to practice safe, responsible behavior as we reopen so we can all enjoy our treasured community resources.”
The city stated that it will adjust chain link fencing currently in use around the river parks to provide access to trails and the river between City Park and Rio Vista Park. The fence will remain in City Park and Rio Vista Park to limit access to park amenities such as picnic tables and pavilions to assist with social distancing. Barbecue grills and pop-up shelters are not permitted because picnic table sites will be unavailable.
Park patrons will be able to participate in recreational activities, including swimming, kayaking, canoeing, walking, running and general exercise. Park restrooms in City Park, Children’s Park and William & Eleanor Crook Park will be open until 8 p.m. and will be cleaned twice daily, the city said. While tubing is permitted, the Lions Club Tube Rental and other tube rental outfitters will remain closed per Gov. Greg Abbott’s executive order.
Posted park rules will be enforced and can be viewed at http://sanmarcostx.gov/parkrules.
The city is asking the public to visit www.sanmarcostx.gov to receive the most up-to-date information regarding department access and various service options provided by the city’s departments. Group meetings will continue to be held virtually until further notice, the city said. Additionally, many departments will use WaitWhile to manage appointments to allow visitors to arrive, check in from their mobile device and wait in their vehicle until staff is ready for their appointment.
The city said it will continue to monitor county and state health department COVID-19 case tracking data and hospitalizations, to assess the local health situation, public compliance with facility and park rules, and local pandemic indicators.
The city provided the following information regarding the city’s various facilities and departments:
- Activity Center: Use of the San Marcos Activity Center will be by reservation only at https://v2.waitwhile.com/welcome/activitycenter. For more information including days of operation, visit http://sanmarcostx.gov/covid19parks or call 512-393-8280.
- Animal Shelter: Adoptions and drop-offs will be handled by appointment, please visit https://v2.waitwhile.com/welcome/smrasadoption. For more information, visit http://sanmarcostx.gov/203/Animal-Services or call 512-805-2650. A new contactless process will also be used to allow potential new “parents” to view animals being considered for adoption.
- City Clerk: Appointments are required for passports or birth/death certificates, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 512-393-8090. For more information including days of operation, visit http://sanmarcostx.gov/286/City-Clerk.
- Engineering & Capital Improvements: Open Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Please email EngInfo@sanmarcostx.gov or call 512-393-8130 to schedule an appointment.
- Library: Front Porch Pickup will continue, and patrons can place items on hold via email at email@example.com or call/text 512-393-8200 with pickup available Monday-Friday, 9 to 10 a.m. and seven days a week from 4 to 6 p.m. The library will be open limited hours for material checkout and computer use with occupancy limited to 76 customers and no public seating in order to encourage visitors to come in, check out items, and take them back home to enjoy. For more information, visit http://www.sanmarcostx.gov/586/Library.
- Main Street: Open Monday-Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
- Planning & Development Services: Open Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Please visit https://v2.waitwhile.com/welcome/pds to schedule an appointment. For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com or call 512-393-8230.
- Tourist Information Center: Open Monday-Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
- Utility Billing: Drive-thrus and counters available, Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Municipal Building, 630 E. Hopkins and at the SMEU Building, 1040 Hwy 123. Please visit http://sanmarcostx.gov/185/Utility-Customer-Services or call 512-393-8383 for more information. If waiting areas become crowded, appointments may be scheduled at https://v2.waitwhile.com/welcome/ubcityhall/ (Muni Bldg) or https://v2.waitwhile.com/welcome/ubhwy123/ (SMEU).
**NOTE: The Lion’s Club Tube Rental and other tubing outfitters will remain closed per the Governor’s Order.