Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Louise Hays Park: here are the City's plans

A lot of confusion is circulating about the closure of the Louise Hays Park (for around 18 months), and the destruction of many trees within the park.  I have several emails forwarded to me which quote the City of Kerrville's parks director.  What follows are his words, not mine.

Click to enlarge
Final Master Plan concept, as approved by the Kerrville City Council in 2008.
The Plan
The City of Kerrville's parks director, Malcolm Matthews, sent the above to a citizen some time ago, with the wording, "attached is the Master Plan for Louise Hays Park that was completed and adopted by the City Council in 2008.  While all of the improvements shown on the plan won’t be made, most will, including a new ‘sprayground’ (water playground), restroom improvements, river access improvements, utility service improvements, large pavilion repair, stage/amphitheater improvements, trail construction, and parking.  This is a general plan and it won’t be constructed exactly as shown.  Final design and construction documents will be completed over the next few months and then construction on the park improvements will follow the sewer line construction, estimated to be completed in mid 2013.  The park construction should start at that time and take an additional 7-8 months."

About the trees scheduled to be knocked down
Matthews wrote this to another citizen: "The major utility project going from Lemos St. bridge out to the new Birkdale lift station runs along the south bank of the river.  The trench for the sewer and water lines is up to 25’ deep and 50’ wide in some areas.  The sewer line is gravity flow, requiring fairly straight runs which don’t allow twist and turns in the line.  To get from point A to point B, anything in the 50’ swath will have to be removed.  This includes roads, park improvements, trees, etc.  The utility line route through Louise Hays Park has been surveyed for the best possible route in regard to impact the least number of trees possible and still meet the engineering needs of the infrastructure.   The trees that have been surveyed in the park have been tagged by the surveyor for field spotting (both tape and tags).  They are not all slated for removal, just the trees that were placed in the tree survey.  While no one wants to see mature trees removed, some will be through the park and in other areas along the route.  Again, the engineers have spent extensive time and review on the location on the lines to affect the park and trees the least amount possible. The city will be mitigating some of the tree loss through new tree replacement, which will go back into the park after the utility construction is completed and the second project, the park improvements project, commences."

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