City expands park space

In News by Reporter News

Friendswood City Council recently approved earnest money contracts for tracts of land located near Stevenson and Old City parks.

Council on Feb. 2 approved an earnest money contract for the purchase of a 1.05-acre tract at 1102 Winding Way, adjacent to Old City Park. According to city documents, the purchase will expand the park as well as allow an optimal tie-in to nearby Stevenson Park. Council last Monday also approved a leaseback agreement for a 2-acre property at 220 Shadwell. An earnest money contract on that property was approved last month.

“These purchases are for parks and rec land that goes in accordance with our Master Parks Plan and what we put on the bond election back in 2013 for park land acquisition,” Councilman Billy Enochs said.

A Rotary Pavilion at Stevenson Park, 1100 S. Friendswood, has been completed, and the new splash pad phase is now 80 percent complete, according to a recent update provided by the City of Friendswood.

A pedestrian bridge that would join Stevenson and Old City parks remains in the planning stages. According to city documents, staff is “close to securing additional nearby property in hopes of optimizing the trail system alignment to and from the bridge.”

The bad news discussed on Monday focused on an issue with the more than 25-year-old heater at the Sesquicentennial Swimming Pool. The heater, staff told council, stopped working and is “beyond repair.” Options discussed included user groups securing access to other heated pools in the area, using the city’s fund balance dollars to replace the heater and partnering with the pool’s main user group to replace the heater.

One group offered to pitch in $6,000 to help pay for the heater, which would run $24,000 for purchase and installation. The custom-built heater could be in use by the April practices, staff said.

“If you don’t have a heater on that pool, it’s really not warm enough to swim until May,” Councilman Steve Rockey said, “and it’s too cold until October.”

Rockey said the city has gotten a lot of use out of the original heater – which was a used one when it was donated decades ago – and the local teams need a year-round facility.

No actions were taken during informational sessions, which are held for discussion only.

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