PAnews.com, Port Arthur, Texas

Local News

September 25, 2013

PACC approves parks upgrades

New concession stands, waterfalls, comfortable benches, landscaping and restrooms are among the improvements slated for  Port Arthur city parks.

City Council on Monday approved a measure to fund the parks projects with this year’s unallocated portion of Port Arthur Economic Development Corporation sales tax revenue dedicated to parks-related projects.

In May 2012 Port Arthur voters approved a proposition authorizing the EDC to use a portion of its sales and use tax funds, $500,000 a year, for activities related to amateur athletics, athletic purposes, and a broad spectrum of related activities.

“Council has specifically said there is a need to improve the quality of facilities within the park, but has not the funding to do so,” Albert Thigpen, parks and recreation director, said.

New handicapped accessible concession stands and fixed restrooms are to be constructed at Port Acres’ County Park and Pioneer Park on Ninth Avenue, across from Christus Hospital - St. Mary.

In downtown Port Arthur, People’s Park, across from the pavilion, will be expanded to include benches and a waterfall.

All upgrades are part of the city’s Parks, Recreation, and Open Space Master Plan, Thigpen said.

Once the improvements are completed, People’s Park will be a companion to the downtown pavilion, as well as the EDC’s new building on Procter Street.

Thigpen said he envisions people sitting in the park while watching movies on the side of the Procter Street Building.

Council also expanded the scope of work in progress at Staff Sgt. Lucian Adams Park. Concessions will be added at the football field s well as some exterior upkeep, fencing and covers over the bleacher.

Council recently approved a study for a quad-plex baseball field. An additional two fields would adjoin two existing field for a total of four.

“That would allow us to become a host for youth and adult tournaments,” Thigpen said.

The area, in the heart of retail and hotel districts makes Lucian Adams a prime location to attract large tournaments, Thigpen said.

New concession stands are expected to be completed in time for the 2013 spring ball season.

On Sept. 19, the EDC board of directors approved spending $430,000 for the parks projects.

E-mail: skoonce@panews.com

Twitter: skooncePANews

 

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