|San Jacinto News-Times - Local News
Stories Added - November 2010
Copyright 2010 - Polk County Publishing Company
Plans discussed for Shepherd’s future growth
San Jacinto News- Times
SHEPHERD – A small group of Shepherd leaders met Friday to discuss their goals and plans for Shepherd’s future. Heading the group, Shepherd City Councilman and Shepherd Economic Development Corporation (SEDC) Secretary Waid Williams said, “A splash park is pretty much my dream.” Williams said a city election is coming up next year and if he is not re-elected he will still pursue his dream that he has been working on for more than a year. Williams introduced Kraftsman Commercial Playgrounds and Water Parks representative Gilbert Fragosa who described what a $1.5 million water park for the City of Shepherd would do for the area. Fragosa said the water park would be designed with a pirate theme, using a fi ltration water system. “There will hardly be any waste of water on it,” Fragosa said. “It’s an awesome splash park that will bring people from surrounding counties, jobs and tourism to Shepherd,” Fragosa said According to Williams the proposed park will be constructed with grant money. Proposed in the initial planning is a water slide and swimming pool, parking areas and sidewalks. “The pool area will be about 104 feet in width,” Fragosa said. “It will use about 700 gallons of water. Once construction starts it could be completed in a couple of months.” Describing it as a money making project, Fragosa said tickets could be sold for $10 per day or $30 per season. “The project should bring in $3 million in revenues the fi rst three years and the park would be open about nine months out of the year.” he said. According to Fragosa, the park could easily hold 100 children and adults. Williams introduced Children’s Impact Center representative Brenda Myers, Cleveland, who said her overall goal has been to get a youth center in Shepherd that would include a reading center, crime watch program, Helping Hands Crisis Center and amphitheater. Myers said a water park in Shepherd would be beneficial to a youth center. Shepherd Economic Development Corporation Vice President Linda Yates is heading a clean-up campaign for the City of Shepherd. “We have a lot of work to do if we want to show pride in our town and have someplace to live, work and play,” Yates said. Part of her clean-up plan includes a city curfew. “It’s important to have a curfew that will make parents responsible,” Yates said. Yates and others agreed that most of the vandalism being done to city property is by young people with nothing else to do. Yates is also working on getting sidewalks, lighting, banners and signs in the downtown beautification project. Williams also spoke about the Big Creek Project – a five mile long project . “I would like to see more tourism,” he said. “There’s a 90 percent chance we might use the roadside park on Big Creek and then get a 200-foot easement from residents along Big Creek from Hwy. 150 to Hwy. 59.” Williams said a public meeting is planned in the spring to gather recreation easements. The SEDC project will take about five year to plan. “We need to get the foundation going. It will bring jobs and tourism to Shepherd,” Williams said. “We are also working with HUD and the Texas Department of Agriculture to get housing for disabled and affordable housing in the City of Shepherd,” Williams said. Texas Department of agriculture Economic Development Representative Linda Parker attended the meeting.