Council seeking grant to improve Treviño Park

This swing at Treviño Park was empty Tuesday afternoon but likely would not be for long as the weather cooled. City officials hope a state grant will help renovate this park.

BEEVILLE – The City Council voted unanimously last Tuesday to authorize City Manager Joe B. Montez to apply for a $150,000 grant to upgrade facilities at Treviño Park on the city’s west side.

Montez said the Texas Department of Parks and Wildlife is accepting applications from communities seeking funds to improve neighborhood parks.

The deadline for applications is Dec. 4.

The city manager said Treviño Park “needs tremendous improvements.”

He said the plan he is submitting to the agency would recommend building an outdoor fitness area, building covered shelters, landscaping and renovation of an existing basketball court.

Montez also is proposing adding picnic benches, upgrading the existing baseball field, installing additional trash receptacles, renovating the walking trail around the park and upgrading the curb to comply with the Americans With Disabilities Act.

The park also needs additional trees, a merry-go-round and other playground equipment.

Montez said TPWD grants require a 50-50 match, and that would require the city to come up with $75,000 to qualify for a $150,000 grant.

The council also authorized Montez to apply for a $600,000 grant from the Texas Department of Transportation to help fund badly-needed improvements to the runway surface at the Beeville Municipal Airport.

According to the city manager, the runway surface has a lot of “alligator cracks,” which allow water to seep through the pavement and damage the runway base.

Montez explained that the city would have to match 10 percent of that grant, if it is awarded. That would require Beeville to invest $60,000 in the project.

In addition the council voted to allow the Human Resource Department to advertise on the Texas Municipal League’s website for applicants interested in applying for the position of economic development director for the Bee Area Partnership.

Several entities in Bee County have approved funding for the economic development agency which will serve the entire county.

Montez said Councilman Eric Holland had asked for that item to be placed on Tuesday’s agenda so the BAP directors could start looking for someone to fill the position of economic development director.

In other business, the council voted to:

— Approve a street closure request from the Joe Barnhart Foundation and the Beeville Art Museum for the 400 blocks of East Fannin and East Hutchinson streets from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 19, for their third annual Art and Community Festival.

— Allow the Beeville Police Department to engage the services of Del Carmen Consulting to perform a required racial profiling assessment for the BPD.

— Authorize the closing of the 100-300 blocks of North Washington Street in downtown Beeville on Saturday, Oct. 26, from 4 p.m. until midnight for Beeville Main Street’s annual Halloween Party.

Main Street Director Michelle Clark Treviño told the council that about 800 revelers showed up for the event last year.

— Approve a request from the Beeville Independent School District head cross country coach for the use of Veterans Memorial Park for the district’s fifth annual Beeville-Skidmore Cross Country Invitational Meet on Saturday, Sept. 7, from 6 a.m. until 1 p.m.

— Accept a quarterly report from Bee County Chamber of Commerce Director Tracy Florence on how the funds from the city’s hotel and motel occupancy tax were spent during the quarter ending June 30 and then voted to award the chamber $20,000 to promote this year’s annual Bee County Western Week Celebration.

— Authorize the Beeville Police Department to contract with an online auction company, “Property Room.com,” for the sale of surplus and confiscated items kept in the city’s evidence locker.

During the meeting, the council was presented with certificates of appreciation and plates of homemade brownies from residents of North Lightburne Street for the help the residents had received in forming a neighborhood watch group.

The residents had certificates and brownies for Mayor Frank Dominguez, Jr., Police Chief Robert J. Bridge and Sgt. Greg Baron.

Gary Kent is a reporter at the Bee-Picayune and can be reached at 358-2550, ext. 120, or at reporter@mySouTex.com.