San Marcos Mercury | Local News from San Marcos and Hays County, Texas
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January 30th, 2008
» Commissioner Conley's Column | River park needed in western Hays County

By WILL CONLEY

Last May, I was happy to see the 2007 parks bond pass. Together we successfully worked to make sure the $30 million dollar bond was approved to continue investing in our quality park system, and preserve areas of the hill country. Through matching grants and collaboration with other government entities, the money will go a long way toward recreation, conservation, and protecting our water resources and other natural assets.

Over the years I have noticed the lack of public access to the Blanco River. Most of the access along the river is privately owned. It is understandable that individuals would like to own a portion of this beautiful property, but a piece of this natural treasure should be accessible to all citizens so they too can enjoy our river. A location with plenty of river frontage, walking trails, picnic tables, and open fields would be an investment many generations could enjoy. I believe that a public river park on the Blanco River, owned and operated by the County, should be a priority for Hays County.

This type of park would merge well in our community and benefit our local economy. Much of our business and tax revenue in the western half of the county is generated by tourism. A beautiful river park would help attract more of this tourism and aide our local economy. It would also help relieve our private river parks from unauthorized access. This is a growing problem for private park owners and continues to be a problem for land owners. With a new public river park, citizens and tourists would have an appropriate place to spend time along the river. In addition to all of this, there are the benefits to the environment that the park would offer. The right piece of land could provide important recharge features, protect habitat, and is a potential educational resource for the community.

If you own or know of someone who owns property similar to what I have described I would encourage you to contact my office at 512-847-3159, or email me at jennifer.anderson@co.hays.tx.us. We look forward to discussing this plan in further detail and to start working toward a goal that will benefit our entire community.

WILL CONLEY is the Hays County commissioner for precinct three.

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