San Benito to open south side park

SAN BENITO — For decades, residents have called for a park to serve the city’s south side.

Now, the city is working on a $748,097 project to develop its first park south of Interstate 69.

The city’s 10th park will be developed on 12.5 acres off FM 2520, next to the fire station.

“I’m extremely excited about it,” Art Garza, the city’s parks director, said earlier this week. “We want to serve all the community.”

The park will feature two soccer fields, bleachers, a half-mile trail, concession areas and restrooms.

A $494,755 grant from the Valley Baptist Legacy Foundation will help fund the project.

The city also has applied to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department for a $500,000 grant.

Garza said he is counting on the state grant to help fund a playground.

“We want to make sure we have programs and amenities for everyone,” Garza said.

The city also is dipping into its general fund budget for $104,864 while federal Community Development Block Grant money will fund $34,207.

So far, crews have installed water and sewer lines.

This week, city commissioners approved a $49,475 contract with McAllen-based Heffner Design Team to landscape the site.

The city will use CDBG money and reserves, City Manager Manuel De La Rosa said.

Garza said the park is expected to be completed sometime in 2018.