San Marcos Mercury | Local News from San Marcos and Hays County, Texas

November 10th, 2009
Five Mile Dam Park starts new improvement phase

STAFF REPORT

With the summer season gone, Hays County has begun Phase II of improvements to Five Mile Dam Park to have them ready for next summer.

The improvements will include a large concession/restroom building, hike-and-bike trails, landscaping, additional work on soccer fields and other site enhancements. The work is expected to be finished in spring 2010.

The total investment for the 43-acre park will exceed $4 million. About $1.3 million of the funding came from a $30 million parks bond approved by Hays County voters in May 2007. Additional funds came from the City of San Marcos and grants from the Texas Department of Parks and Wildlife, the Lower Colorado River Authority, the McCoy Foundation and the U.S. Soccer Foundation.

The first phase of improvements at the park, located north of San Marcos along Old Stagecoach Road, included soccer fields (some of which are lighted), pedestrian trails, a xeriscape garden, playground and canoe/kayak launch pads, and other refinements.

All three parks at the park complex remain closed to the public because of construction and water quality issues. Dudley Johnson and Randall Vetter Parks are adjacent to Five Mile Dam Park. The entire three-park complex covers approximately 76 acres.

“Initially Johnson and Vetter Parks were closed because of the drought, but now that water is currently flowing down the Blanco River again, our concern focuses on non-point-source pollution from runoff, which has raised the bacteria levels and made it hazardous for people and pets to swim in the water,” said Hays County Parks Administrator Jerry Pinnix. “And, since Five Mile Dam Park is also a construction zone with heavy equipment, we need to keep people away for related safety reasons.”

On completion, the park will offer water activities including swimming, wading and kayaking/canoeing, picnicking, walking/jogging/biking, nature observation and historical interpretation and education. A large soccer complex with lighted fields for team sports and tournaments will also be a feature.

Park officials will periodically review the need to keep the parks closed and will announce when it is safe to allow public access. For updates on Five Mile Dam Park, go to www.co.hays.tx.us and visit Five Mile Dam Complex Update under Quick Links.

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