Cove residents get updates on parks projects, upcoming programs
By LYNETTE SOWELL
On Wednesday evening, the Copperas Cove Parks & Recreation Department held its second quarterly town hall meeting for the year to inform residents about park programs, improvements and upcoming events.
Parks & Recreation Director Joe Brown said the three parking lots in City Park are progressing, to address the ADA component.
The target date to have the parking lots done in City Park is May 16, but Brown acknowledged there are “a lot of variables involved in that process.”
On Wednesday, the contractor was ready to pour the curb and gutters for lot 1.
However, there will be 10 areas in City Park alone that won’t get parking lots built, to the tune of more than $1.5 million in parking in phase 1 alone. Brown said the department will also be looking for alternate sources of funding.
Brown also said they are looking at the amount of parking lots and trails that are not going to get done in phases 1-4, and are looking to the years 2022 and 2023 for funding for those.
For phase two, part of the planning is restrooms for the city’s parks system.
“Everybody here knows that restrooms are a problem in our parks, and restrooms are expensive. We have $370,000 budgeted for bathrooms,” Brown said, adding that they are looking at how many bathrooms will be done and what types.
Brown also said construction signs are coming to the parks that will describe what will be done along with the timetable, as well as the monument signs.
The department is still waiting to hear a determination on the Texas Wildlife Trails Grant, for which it applied for $200,000 in funding with an $81,000 match from the city, to install a 1.5-mile, 8-foot wide walking trail in City Park, that will connect with Avenue B Sidewalk, near parking lot 1, and also includes a new bridge near the duck pond.
Brown also said there is a town hall meeting on Monday, April 30, from 5:30-6:30 p.m. at the Civic Center. This meeting will be to discuss ideas for hike and bike trails at Ogletree Gap Park.
“Community members have reached out, actively engaged, and some hike/bike organizers from Austin would like to help put it together,” Brown said. “I’m looking for community input; I’m not looking really for complaints. I’m looking for, ‘I think this would be a good idea; I’m willing to volunteer.’”
Where the golf course is concerned, Brown said the city will be receiving golf cart path bids today, Friday, and that those bids will be scored with the hoe to have something to present to the council at its May 15 meeting.
Brown said the cart paths were graded on priority, with priority one being 10,000 feet of path that is falling apart.
“Cart paths don’t match bridge abutments,” Brown said. “Part of the project is to get those cleaned up, leveled, so they match an there are not safety issues.”
Brown reminded those in attendance that the pools will open Memorial Day weekend, then will be open June 4 through August 12 daily, and City Park pool continuing to be open on weekends after that through Labor Day weekend. New for this year will be C&H Hawaiian Grill with concession stands at the pool.
Also, the weekly farmer’s market will begin next Thursday, May 3, at City Park, from 4-7 p.m.
One question asked Wednesday came from Mike Blount, with the Noon Exchange Club that is preparing for it May 12 Color Run 5K in Ogletree Gap Park.
Blount said this year they have increased the number of food trucks, along with the number of cars in the car show and car clubs.
“We’re not sure where we’re going to have people park or put the food trucks. We used to put them in the field where the outlets are, but we no longer have that access,” Blount said, referring to the Austin stone delineators recently installed at the park.
Brown said vehicular access gates will be installed, and that they could certainly talk about it, adding that he would be willing to meet him at the park to look at it.
Wednesday’s meeting was recorded live on Facebook with a replay available online at the Parks & Recreation Department’s Facebook page. July 25 will be the next quarterly townhall meeting.