The City of Alpine held its regularly scheduled council meeting on June 2, and City Manager Erik Zimmer discussed the city’s recreation program and municipal swimming pool, along with an upcoming protest march.
He announced that the city just launched a summer recreational activity program for all ages, emphasizing social distancing guidelines in an outdoor setting. The activities include yoga, cardio workouts, walking, arts and crafts, story time, a Friday night PG-rated movie, and more. All activities will be held at the Kokernot Park pavilion, and will vary from week to week.
Zimmer had reached out to Sul Ross State University kinesiology instructor Chris Herrera and his wife for assistance. He provided 35 frisbee golf discs of his own, and is working with the university to use their sports field.
For the weekly schedule of activities, visit cityofalpine.com, click on All News, and scroll down to and click on 2020 Recreation Program Schedule.
Of the municipal swimming pool closure, Zimmer said that due to the recent increase in COVID-19 cases in Fort Stockton, the city’s pool should remain closed.
Council, Ward 5, Rick Stephens asked if the Alpine Volunteer Fire Department could provide their water hose to cool people off during the hot weather. Zimmer said he had been talking with Police Chief Robert Martin and Mike Scudder of the VFD to possibly have that activity one or two days a week.
Regarding cancellation of the July 4th fireworks display by the Alpine Kiwanis Club, Zimmer said other groups were interested in possibly putting on a fireworks display, with careful monitoring by the fire department. Zimmer posed the issue of funding, and said the state mandates that hotel-motel tax money not be used for fireworks displays.
“It always comes down to money. Those big fireworks are not cheap. It just depends on if somebody wants to go out and fund that,” he said.
In other news, Zimmer announced that Big Bend Black Lives Matter would hold a protest march at 9:30 a.m. on Saturday, June 6 in Alpine. The group will march from City Hall to the Brewster County Courthouse, where they would rally.
Zimmer said the potential for civil unrest was of concern, particularly since some of the group were from outside the area.
“All law enforcement entities in the region are very well aware, and have been coordinating to ensure that we do not have civil unrest here in Alpine,” said Zimmer.
Mayor Andy Ramos noted that although everyone was entitled to hold public gatherings, those gatherings must be done in a safe manner. He said he would not tolerate any kind of civil disobedience in Alpine.
Ramos added, “I am glad the police force is well aware of it, and they are taking measures to ensure it’s a peaceful demonstration.”
Finally, Zimmer announced that City Hall had opened its doors again, but by appointment only. To enter the building, all visitors must wear facemasks.
The next regularly scheduled city council meeting is set for Tuesday, June 16 at 5:30 p.m. via Zoom videoconferencing.