Victoria commissioners OK parks master plan

Sonny Long

May 24, 2010 at 12:24 a.m.
Updated May 25, 2010 at 12:25 a.m.

The Victoria County Commissioners Court has approved a master plan for the county's parks and open spaces.

The master plan is beneficial in not only planning, but in receiving priority consideration when grant applications are being scored by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, said Joyce Dean, director of administrative services for the county.

Precinct 3 Commissioner Gary Burns served on the committee that helped develop the Parks and Open Space Master Plan.

"It gives us a goal," Burns said. "It doesn't mean we'll be able to do everything on the master plan. It's flexible."

The plan includes a prioritization of projects based on an assessment of needs, including public input and available resources.

Tops among the priorities in the plan are construction of a multipurpose indoor recreation center on county property at the airport. The facility would include an archery range, gymnasium/basketball court and hunter safety education and recreation education classroom.

Adjacent to this facility, a field recreation area is also planned. These two projects have anticipated completion dates of 2011, according to the master plan.

Also included in the plan is a Saxet Lake natural restoration and education project.

"Saxet Lake is a great facility, but it hasn't been developed," Burns said. "Hopefully, this will give us some alternatives to attract more people out there."

The estimated completion date of Saxet Lake project is 2015.

Another proposed project with a 2015 completion date is a multipurpose arena for horse events and other multipurpose community recreational uses.

On the timeline for 2016 are all-weather livestock barns for use by the fair association, among others.

In 2018, the master plan calls for completion of an all-weather building as exhibit space for the county fair with restrooms and a concessions area.

Commissioners, in adopting the master plan, understood that it lays the groundwork for future projects and possible future funding assistance.

"It's a framework," said Precinct 4 Commissioner Wayne Dierlam, county judge pro tem, who presided over Monday's meeting.

Burns agreed.

"We are preparing a long-term plan," he said. "It's crossing the 't's' and dotting the 'i's' for further grant requests."

On the committee with Burns were Tom Barker, director of operations Straight Arrow Archery Learning Center, Wayne Beran, vice president for administration and finance University of Houston-Victoria, Joni Brown, executive director Keep Victoria Beautiful, Robin Knipling, Victoria County grant administrator, Jason Milewski, manager Victoria Regional Airport, and John Zacek, senior vice president - lending First Victoria National Bank.



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