City's Perry Sampson Park takes priority in city's grant request to TP&W

Mayor, council members Johnson, Howard sworn in for new terms

The Center City Council on Monday, Nov. 25,  approved submitting a grant application to Texas Parks and Wildlife Department seeking assistance for $292,000 worth of improvements to Perry Sampson Park.

City Manager Chad Nehring said initial work planned would include resurfacing the basketball court, putting a cover over the basketball court area and rehabilitating and upgrading electrical in the pavilion area.

“That falls into the range the $300,000, which would be the maximum, with $150,000 local and $150,000 match, for the small communities park project which (the application) is due this next week,” Nehring said.

Councilwoman Leigh Porterfield moved to pass the resolution authorizing the city to seek the grant while Joyce Johnson seconded the motion. It passed unanimously.

Nehring said an important part of the having any hope of seeing TP&W approve the city's grant was to show community support, especially from a financial standpoint.

Jeremy Small, co-chair of a group seeking renovations for Sampson Park located in the predominately lower income area of southeastern Center, said the group has a goal of raising $75,000 to go towards the local match for the project.

“As of to date we have a commitment of $27,500, or about a third of the way to that goal,” Small told the council Monday night. He said committee members are in contact with a couple of potential corporate sponsors, which could help provide a boost to the fundraising efforts.

In other action on behalf of the Perry Sampson Park committee, the group has secured a partner in which non-profit tax donation benefits can be achieved. Small said the group has an arrangement with the Brighter Tomorrow Foundation to fall under that 501(c)3 organization, which will result in donations to the project to be classified as tax deductible.

Nehring urged the park committee to gather as many letters of commitment as possible by early next week to submit with the TP&W grant request to aid in improving the score the grant request will receive from the state. The higher the score, the better the prospect Center's proposal will have from possibly receiving a portion of limited funds the TP&W has to disperse across the state.

In other business at the Monday, Nov. 25, meeting, the council approved an amendment to the city's zoning ordinance for allowing a specific use permit for property at 1001 Tenaha St. The change will allow Heritage Baptist Church to move forward with plans to open a church there.

The council also approved an alternate classification for waste disposal which will allow tote carts to be used by certain commercial customers for an additional charge. Representatives of Republic Services said the firm has had some requests for the service.

The the council's' Nov. 11 meeting Muncipal Judge Grover Russell swore in Mayor David Chadwick, Councilwoman Joyce Johnson and Councilman Howell Howard for new terms. None of the three drew challengers so a Nov. 5 election for the positions had been cancelled.



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