LYFORD —The city has built its second park out of a swamp.
Yesterday, officials celebrated the opening of the Central Park, showcasing a lighted baseball field off Broadway Street.
“It’s great for the kids,” Mayor Wally Solis said yesterday. “You can see it over the overpass. Hopefully, we can start having teams out there.”
When Hurricane Beulah flooded this area nearly 51 years ago, a little pool remained along the low-lying area.
So residents called the area “the laguna.”
“That’s the only thing I see missing,” Solis said.
Without restrooms, the city would have to rent portable toilets to hold baseball game.
“That doesn’t look good,” Solis said.
At City Hall, City Secretary Lydia Moreno is working on an application to the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department for a grant.
But Solis wants to build the restrooms without going through the time-consuming grant process.
“The sooner, the better,” he said.
So now he is considering requesting the City Commission ask for construction proposals for the project.
The 6.6-acre park’s first phase, funded in part through a $75,000 Texas Parks & Wildlife grant and a $50,000 Willacy County donation, also features the county’s first amphitheater along with an observation deck.
Next month, commissioners are expected to apply for another Texas Parks & Wildlife grant to fund the park’s second phase.
Solis said that project includes development of a soccer field.
If the city cannot build restrooms, the park’s second phase is expected to fund their construction.
As part of the second phase, the project is expected to include features such as concession stands, lighting, picnic tables and benches and a parking lot.
The project has rid the city of one of its biggest eyesores.
“It was a swamp,” Solis said.
As part of the project, he said, engineers expanded the pond to create a retention pond.
Now, an improved drainage system will carry floodwaters into the retention pond to help curb flooding in the area.
Meanwhile, the city plans to upgrade a nearby sewer lift station to improve its capacity to help remove floodwaters, Solis said.
Lighted baseball field