Perry Sampson Park makeover get $1,000 boost from Republic Services

More positive news for renovation of east-side park expected soon, city officials say

Plans to bring a major makeover to Center's Perry Sampson Park received a boost at Monday night's Center City County meeting with a $1,000 donation to the project from Republic Services.

Representing the city's contracted waste disposal service was Gene Kennon, manager of government affairs for Republic Services, who presented the check to City Manager Chad Nehring.

“This is part of the pledge that I made to the Perry Sampson Park project, it is one of five donations we plan to be making over the next few years” to the project,” Kennon said.

Nehring said city officials hope to receive even more positive news for the project by the end of the week. The city has a grant application pending before the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department which could fund about half of the $300,000 in improvements planned by the city for the east-side park.

“While it will not be considered for approval until Aug. 28 meeting by the parks and wildlife commission, we did receive the highest score during this application cycle for this project, which has it recommended for funding,” Nehring said. While the funds are far from being banked in the city's account and earmarked for the park, he said the high score from among many other projects vying for Texas Parks grant funds is encouraging.

To help meet the local required match for the project, Tyson Foods in June committed $75,000 to the Perry Sampson Park renovation project.

A decision at the state level for that part of funding the $300,000 project — the matching $150,000 grant from the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, was been delayed due to COVID-19/coronavirus slowing down the approval process by the state. Nehring earlier said the announcement was expected in the spring but was delayed until August.

Also at Monday's meeting, the City Council accepted authorization to utilize funds from Texas Department of Transportation for its Routine Airport Maintenance Program (RAMP). Nehring said the funds pay for 50 percent of the costs of associated with normal maintenance.

Mayor David Chadwick said the funds are important to the community.

“This, again, is one of those very important things for our community, allowing us to do some things which we ordinarily would be stretched for” without outside grant funds.

In other business, the council also:

• Passed a resolution accepting final construction of the Aiken Lagoon water treatment plant, which is now in operation.

• Amended the engineer's contract for the Aiken Lagoon project due to changes in the original scope of the project as an earthen berm lagoon. Nehring said as funds became available, the project was changed to a concrete lined structure, which should serve the city better, but also came with increased engineering expense.

• Approved development agreements which allowed the city to extend water utilities further out Old Airport Road to service properties. Nehring said the agreements allow the city to provide water at in-city rates for 10 years before the city can annex the properties, at which time annexation will be automatic.

• Appointed Howell Howard to the tax increment finance district.

• Approved paying dues to the Deep East Texas Council of Governments.

• Accepted bids for surplus city property.

 

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