Bond election would benefit Bedford Boys Ranch

Posted Sunday, Sep. 08, 2013  comments  Print Reprints
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Public hearings The Bedford City Council has scheduled a pair of public meetings to explain the details and hear residents’ opinions. The first is 6 p.m. Sept. 17 at Boys Ranch Activity Center, 2801 Forest Ridge Drive/ The second, 6 p.m. Oct. 17 at Bedford Public Library, 2424 Forest Ridge Drive. Early voting runs from Oct. 21 through Nov. 1.

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Whether the lake in Bedford Boys Ranch Park gets dredged, and other improvements are made to the city’s premier gathering spot, depends on whether residents approve a $3.2 million bond issue.

“The $3.2 million is only for improvements for the Boys Ranch,” said city spokeswoman Rebecca Asher.

It’s also for only the first phase of a four-phase Boys Ranch Park master plan that was adopted by the City Council in 2010. A $100,000 grant from the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department will help. But the Nov. 5 vote will float it or sink it.

Mayor Jim Griffin said that approving the bond package could increase the tax rate “by just over one penny on the debt side, depending on various factors such as property values and the date of issuance.”

The council has already approved a budget for the next fiscal year that will reduce the tax rate from 49.9 cents per $100 of valuation to 49.5 cents, Asher said.

The park plan’s Phase 1 designs include a deeper (12 feet at the deepest), reshaped lake and transformation of a frequently choked creek into a channel lined with decorative stone, Asher said. At four points along the channel, stone-and-concrete structures would form small ponds and create waterfalls when rainfall swells the creek.

Three steel bridges would be built over the channel to make getting from one side of the park to the other easier.

Along with a new fishing pier there would be three pavilions, one of which would be 3,200 square feet, a disc golf course and new playground, and an improved trail system. Other projects would address lighting, landscaping, irrigation, signs, benches and water fountains, according to a description on the city’s website.

The changes would increase Bedford Boys Ranch’s attractiveness beyond the city’s borders, making it a destination park, Griffin said.

“Making park improvements can only enhance property values and continue to attract new business and residential growth,” Griffin said.

Later phases of the Boys Ranch Master Plan include improvements to sports fields, the activity center and parking, the description said.

Terry Evans, 817-390-7620 Twitter: @fwstevans

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