The city council on Tuesday approved funding for two vans for shuttle service for approximately $2,500 each that will take attendees of Larry Joe Taylor's Texas Music Festival to and from their hotel.
Martha Taylor asked the council for money to receive an additional shuttle for the service since the approval of one shuttle was made in a previous meeting.
She recently met with Donny Hill, who operates the Jesus Bus, and they talked about incorporating the shuttle service to the hotels into his current business.
“[Donny] told us he made about 10 to 20 trips per day. At that point he had a minivan and a 12-passenger vehicle that he had borrowed, so that’s about 200 people per day,” Taylor said during the meeting. “I want to ask the council to consider the additional shuttle. He thinks that if we added two shuttles, that would allow the rotation of two vehicles in town per hour, which would put one shuttle to the hotels every hour. He’s wanting to add the two shuttles into his current system.”
Councilman Alan Nix asked if the service would be free.
Taylor replied, “Yes, it’s a free service. It’s an incentive for folks to not drive and take the shuttle.”
Stephenville Police Chief Jason King was on board with the additional shuttle.
“We absolutely support this effort and this endeavor. Anything that allows patrons of the event options to enjoy the evening and then not have to worry about getting behind the wheel of a vehicle or anything like that, so any endeavor like this provides a safer alternative and I think provides for a better experience for everybody,” King said.
Sherry Zachery voted against the shuttle due to “unanticipated expenses that have not been budgeted for.”
Carla Trussell suggested only using one shuttle to see how many people used the service and then to discuss it next year.
“I think this is exactly the kind of event that this is made to do,” said councilman Brandon Huckabee. “It sells out. There’s probably no single event that puts more heads in beds than this. Looking comparatively to what we’ve given to other events, I don’t think $5,000 is out of line for what this event does for us.”
Taylor said that last year, the festival brought 60,000 people to the event and almost all of the hotels in Stephenville were full.
Zachery made a motion to fund one van to the amount of $2,500.
The amendment failed for lack of a second.
The final motion was made to approve two vans for the LJT shuttle service for the amount of $5,000.