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The City of Taylor has been awarded a matching grant for $500,000 from Texas Parks and Wildlife to make enhancements to Heritage Square Park and to build a skatepark in downtown Taylor.
The $500,000 matching grant will be added to the funding already secured for both projects which included funds from the tax increment financing or TIF district, the City’s general fund, land donation, community donations, Project LOOP and additional grant monies.
The combined total for the projects will be more than $4 million.
“This is a momentous achievement for the City of Taylor and I commend all those involved in making this happen,” said Taylor Mayor Jesse Ancira, Jr. “From the impressive grassroots efforts of Project LOOP to the innovative thinking of our City staff, this award truly showcases the dedication to improving the quality of life in Taylor for everyone.”
Both the skatepark and Heritage Square Park were included in the Downtown Master Plan, which was approved in 2015, as improvements that could be made to enhance the overall quality of life and vitality of the city.
“This was a community-wide effort,” said Mike DeVito, Director of Parks and Recreation. “The amount of people who came together to bring these projects to life is astounding. From the inception of the Downtown Master Plan to fundraising and cohesive thinking between governmental boards and private citizens, we were able to develop a plan of action that benefits the entire community for generations to come.”
Preliminary plans for upgrades to Heritage Square Park include:
Preliminary plans for the downtown skatepark include:
“This project will be a catalyst for continued improvements in Taylor,” said City Manager Isaac Turner. “The City staff prides itself on establishing innovative solutions to complex problems and this is a prime example of what can happen when cities and their communities develop firm partnerships for accomplishing their goals.
Taylor City Council moved to include the skatepark in a Downtown location in 2016. With the help of a citizen donation for land and through the work of the Taylor Parks and Recreation department, Taylor Parks board, Project LOOP and numerous community partners, a location was outlined on Porter St. adjacent to Heritage Square Park.
The City is looking at ways to secure all the funding necessary to complete the improvements to Heritage Square Park at one time instead of taking a phased approach as outlined in the Downtown Master Plan.
The next steps in the process will be holding a joint meeting for the projects to discuss conceptual designs prior to presenting to City Council in late April.