Austwell looking to revamp its only city park with weekend fundraiser
By BY J.R. ORTEGA - JRORTEGA@VICAD.COM
Nov. 7, 2013 at 5:07 a.m.
The city of Austwell will hold a fundraiser Saturday to benefit its city park.
Austwell City Park, on Vandenberge Street, has a deteriorating playground that is in need of repair, said Melissa Hopper, city secretary.
The playground, she said, has rotting wood and little equipment for children to play on.
The goal is to raise between $5,000 to $7,000 before seeking a grant. The money raised would then be used to match the grant.
The event will include brisket and hot dogs plates, available for donations, as well as free music and an auction.
Veterans who have died will also be honored.
"We're trying to refurbish the park to where it could last longer," Hopper said.
With about 200 residents in Austwell, the park is used by at least a quarter of the population's children, especially when school is out. Families rent the site for parties, and travelers also use the RV park next door, she said.
When the park first opened in the 1990s, the city purchased the least expensive playground equipment they could find, she said.
Right now, the playground has one swing set and a small wooden playhouse with one slide. But with the boards on the house splintering, Hopper worries for the children's safety.
"It's about the city of Austwell looking good," she said. "We want to make sure our kids are safe. This is the only place they have."