San Marcos Greenbelt Alliance •  107 E. Hopkins St. Suite 121A; San Marcos, Texas 78666

The Loop


Parks Bond Money and Purgatory Creek Expansion

As a follow up to our request that you email your county commissioners in support of spending a little less than $1 million of the remaining $3.4 million in county park bond funds, here’s a summary of a very long discussion at the November 23rd Commissioners Court meeting. The Purgatory Creek Park expansion proposal was ranked second of 12 projects by POSAB (Parks and Open Space Advisory Board). The commissioners decided to approve the funds for the top ranked project, Harrison Ranch. The commissioners want to fund as many of the projects as possible, so they delayed the vote for the allocation of the remaining bond funds until further review of the top proposals. (Note more details in the Mercury article quoted below.)

There is still enough money to fund the Purgatory Creek Park expansion, and we expect it to be on the Commissioners Court agenda on December 7. We continue to have discussions with commissioners, city staff and officials, and the Trust for Public Land about this amazing opportunity and are very hopeful that the project will be funded. We will continue to keep you up-to-date as the project moves through local and federal funding processes.

As always, it’s never too late to to call or email your county commissioner and let them know that you support the allocation of park bond funds for the expansion of Purgatory Creek Park, conserved land that provides many essential benefits. If you have not done so yet, please consider calling or email your commissioner now in support of this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for San Marcos residents.

Note: You may have read recently about funding approved for Nicholson Ranch. The $5 million for that project was allocated from the parks bond before the balance of $3.4 million was reached and new proposals were solicited. Read more on that in the SM Local News story quoted below. Likewise, funds used to finalize the purchase of lands at Jacob’s Well were not deducted from the current bond balance.
Hays funds Harrison Ranch as parks funds dwindle, SM Mercury, by KAY RICHTER and BRAD ROLLINS
The Hays County Commissioners Court voted 3-2 to appropriate $1.7 million in voter-approved parks bond money to the Harrison Ranch Park in Dripping Springs as the pool of available funds grows steadily smaller.

Supporters of the project, along with those advocating or opposing 11 others under consideration, packed the courtroom beyond capacity in a reflection of what is the most controversial of issues: the distribution of resources. After the Harrison Ranch Park allocation, $1.55 million of the $30 million bond package is unspoken for; pending requests total more than $10.7 million, including two applications from the city of Buda for the Bradfield Park Trail ($334,200) and a skate park ($150,000).
Commissioners approve Nicholson Ranch purchase for bird habitat, SM Local News, by SEAN BATURA
…Nicholson Ranch is a 3,300-acre tract located in commissioner Precincts 3 and 4 near the Blanco County line.

Commissioners approved the Nicholson Ranch tract purchase pursuant to the county’s regional habitat conservation plan (RHCP), though the RHCP has yet to be approved by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS). The RHCP may be approved soon after Jan. 1, said Hays County District Attorney Civil Division Chief Mark Kennedy.

…Some opposed to the Nicholson Ranch tract purchase include proponents of projects competing for dwindling parks bonds, of which about $3.4 million remain, not counting the approximately $5 million allocated for the Nicholson Ranch tract in August.

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