Athens Review, Athens, Texas

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November 23, 2013

Chandler EDC considers park pavilion funds

Athens — Chandler Economic Development Corporation is scheduled to meet Tuesday, Nov. 26 to hold a public hearing on the possible allocation of $125,000.

The money will be used to partially fund the construction of a new pavilion with restrooms and a concession stand at Winchester Park.

Chandler EDC agreed to spend $125,000 on the construction of a new pavilion at Winchester Park during its July board meeting.

A similar proposal was passed by the city council as each organization will contribute $125,000 toward the pavilion.

The city council agreed to move funds from a money market account for use at Winchester Park as part of adopting its 2013-14 budget.

Once all of the funding is finalized, a 7,500-square-foot pavilion will be constructed near the playground. It will include restrooms, concession stands, storage space and 6,000 square feet of covered pavilion space that can be used for private parties, movies in the park or other large events.

“We are hoping to put together a package deal between the city and the economic development that would fund a pavilion that we could use for movies in the park, a farmer’s market, chili cook-offs, rented for family reunions and those sort of events,” EDC Executive Director Jim Moffeit said. “We are fortunate enough to have some dirt left over from working on the baseball field so we have the pad built. We have received some estimates on the concrete, electrical and those sort of things, but I am waiting to get the drawings back. I have two different companies working on those, for free.”

A fifth baseball field is being constructed near the playground. Once the field and the pavilion are complete, plans call for the construction of a splash pad in the same area.

Once the public hearing and approval by the city council are complete, $250,000 will be available for the construction of the pavilion. It is possible money would be left over and could be used to fund other projects.

“I would not mind seeing all the money going into park projects because even if the pavilion comes in at $200,000, we have a fence at the baseball field, a building that needs to be constructed and a parking lot in that area that needs to be done,” Moffeit said. “There are plenty of projects at the park.”

Winchester Park has received several upgrades over the last two years and is quickly becoming one of the top parks in the area.

The pond was recently stocked with more than 600 catfish by the Texas Department of Wildlife. It is considered public waters and fishing guidelines are posted in two locations around the pond.

Lighting has been added to the competition-style horse shoe pits and a parking area is being constructed nearby.

Texas Department of Transportation donated gravel from the construction work done on Highway 31 in October. The gravel is a major step in the creation of the new parking area near the pits and pond.

With the parking area, pond and pits in place, the city will begin looking at extending the walking trail.

Tuesday’s public hearing begins at 6 p.m. in city hall.

Winchester Park, home to four baseball/softball fields, annually hosts large tournaments. It also hosts annual horse shoe tournament. It is located on Farm-to-Market Road 315 south. It has multiple parking areas.

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