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County POSAC presents projects to commissioners

Wednesday, November 24, 2021

The Parks and Open Spaces Advisory Commission (POSAC) presented and provided recommendations concerning proposed projects set to be funded through the 2020 Hays County Parks and Open Spaces Bond to the Commissioners Court during Tuesday's meeting. 

Initially, the POSAC was established by the commissioners in February of 2020 to create a process to study the viability and community interest for pursuing a potential parks bond.

The bond that would issue $75 million in general bonds, along with other potential funding mechanisms, to establish parks, open spaces, conservation lands and other recreational opportunities was passed with 70% voter approval. 

Ray Don Tilley of the Wimberley Valley Watershed Association spoke to the commissioners before the presentation about the work that was put into the proposals. 

“I’m just very impressed with the way the program has run and certainly eager to see the presentation here shortly,” Tilley said. “I think this is one of those programs that  brings the whole county together and so I think this is something that we should work toward regularly.” 

Scott Way, Chair of the POSAC, began the presentation by thanking the members of the POSAC along with the project applicants.  

“We really had an amazing group that worked tremendously hard with very diverse opinions and we came to consensus and that was what was so wonderful about working with this group, smart individuals bringing all of their talents to the table,” Way said. 

James Jimenez of Halff Associates then presented a summary of the second round of projects including the 25 project requests totaling approximately $88 million. Eighteen meetings were held by the commission, with 300-400 POSAC person-hours put in. 

Twenty-nine total meetings were held by the POSAC between February 2020 and November 2021 during the first and second rounds. Jimenez also gave a recap of the round 1 projects before presenting round 2. 

The urban park, open space and natural areas and connectivity recommended projects for round 2 include: 

•Blanco Bend Ranch

•Buda Eastside Regional Park

•Cypress Creek De Cordova Trail

•Dry Cypress Creek

•Garison Park 

•Garison Parkland Expansion

•Gary Softball Complex

•Gregg-Clarke Park Improvements

•Indigenous Cultures Center

•Kyle Sportsplex Park & Trail

•Mt. Edith

•NHO Youth Sportsplex Facility

•Old Glory Ranch 

•Onion Creek Trail

•Plum Creek Trail

•Purgatory Creek Improvements

•Roy Creek Canyon Reserve

•San Marcos CISD Walking Trail

•San Marcos Eastside Park

•Spring Lake - Lakeside Trail 

•Starnes Ranch

•Woodcreek Parks

•Wimberley Youth Sports Association

Natural Resources Coordinator of Hays County, Alexandra Thompson also gave an update on grants for the recommended projects.

“COVID kind of, you know, threw everything off and so we were recommended to go ahead and potentially apply for the 2022 application process,” Thompson said. “We did receive positive feedback and really great support as far as the, utilizing the natural landscapes as you know, green infrastructure and nature-based solutions for nonpoint source pollution and water quality protection and flood mitigation.” 

The commissioners went on to thank the POSAC and the work that was put into the consideration of the projects. 

“Thank y'all for all your work on this, I know it took a lot of hours and a lot of compromising, maybe some more stubborn people than others but thank ya’ll for all your work you put into this,” said Commissioner Mark Jones. 

The commissioners will review the list of recommendations from the POSAC before approving the projects at a future meeting. 

For additional information regarding the POSAC and the projects, visit www.haysparksbond.com/.

San Marcos Record

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