City receives thousands in grant to revamp park - KXXV Central Texas News Now

City receives thousands in grant to revamp park

(Source: KXXV) (Source: KXXV)

The East Waco Park is getting hundreds of thousands of dollars in renovations in hopes of bringing the area back to life. 

A Community Development Block Grant in the amount of $300,000 has been given to the City of Waco so that park can be revamped. 

Thomas Balk is the Senior Park Planner for the city and he said that a separate investment in that area is what encouraged the city to apply for the grant.

"East Waco was particularly emphasized due to the reinvestment across the street with the NeighborWorks Project," Balk said. "If we're going to have further development across the street, I'm hoping that what we'll see is kind of a combined impact to both blocks," he added. 

The city planner said that the money will be used for a variety of things at the park.

"For this park, we're starting with the irrigation systems... we're gonna modernize the lighting system; we're going to add curb around the perimeter; we're going to add a drinking fountain; we're also going to upgrade the electrical infrastructure," Balk said. "If we get to the end and still have funding remaining, we've already received approval for improved signage or other branding for the park."

Jeanette Bell is the president of the Northeast Riverside Neighborhood Association and she said the improvements are long overdue. 

"It's been a long time coming," Bell said. "This park been needing development for a long time."

Some of the things Bell said the community could use line up with the city's plan, but some things do not. 

"The people here want restrooms. That's a big demand," Bell said. "I would like to see a water park... I would even like to see a tennis court."

The community leader said she can't wait to see what the city has in story for revamping East Waco Park.

"Whenever I see any improvements over here, I'm joyful -- a lot of neighbors are joyful -- the neighborhood association is joyful," she said. "I'll probably buy cake and ice cream and celebrate because it's been a long time coming."

Balk said the improvements to the park could take up to two years to complete.

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