Fort Worth’s Planning and Development Department will get the help of National Park Service staff to look at how hike and bike trails might work around Lake Arlington.
Randle Harwood, the department director, told the City Council that he learned a few weeks ago that the park service has awarded the city a technical assistance grant. Harwood was presenting an update on the Lake Arlington master plan, adopted by Fort Worth and Arlington in 2011.
Although no money is involved, the technical-assistance grant is the equivalent of a getting a staff person who can focus on, and bring expertise to, the project, Harwood said.
That person will work on identifying trail corridors and how to improve accessibility to the edge of the lake, he said.
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The beauty of Lake Arlington is like any body of water, it could be an economic driver.
Fort Worth Councilmember Gyna Bivens
It also sets up the city to compete for federal dollars for future projects at the lake, Harwood said. Arlington owns the lake, but Fort Worth borders it on the western shoreline. Plans call for residential development along the lake front as well as adding parkland. The city operates Eugene McCray Park at Lake Arlington.
“Most of the successful trails in the city of Fort Worth, in their infancy, had park service grant assistance,” Harwood said.
Councilwoman Gyna Bivens, whose district includes the Fort Worth side of Lake Arlington, said improving access and adding a trail system would be a huge boost.
“There are many people in Fort Worth who don’t even know the lake is there on our side,” Bivens said. “The beauty of Lake Arlington is like any body of water, it could be an economic driver.”
The City Council, acting as the Fort Worth Housing Finance Corp., gave staff its approval Tuesday night to negotiate the sale of a 2.26-acre tract to Arlington-based Q Hotels for the development of a four-story, 101-room Hampton Inn. The company owns 28 hotels in North Texas, according to its website, including several in Fort Worth. The city plans to sell the tract, bounded by Interstate 35W on the west, Missouri Avenue on the east, Terrell Avenue on the north and Dashwood Street on the south, for $1 million. The hotel will have a banquet room, business center and indoor pool.
Stockyards measures approved
The mayor and council also unanimously approved the creation of a historic district for the Historic Fort Worth Stockyards, as well as approved other measures meant to better protect the iconic area. The city will also pay for hiring a consultant to help in that task. More than 50 residents sent council members letters of support for the measures, and seven people spoke at the council meeting. “If we don’t do it right, we will lose the magic of the Stockyards,” said Marty Humphrey, president of the North Fort Worth Historical Society. “Stay committed ... to show the world Fort Worth knows how to do it right when it comes to history.”