By Megan Wehring
Hays County is nestled in the Texas Hill Country with incredible natural spaces. If public access isn’t always attainable, how can residents enjoy these areas during the pandemic?
The Parks and Open Space Advisory Commission (POSAC) recommends the Hays County Commissioners Court call for a bond by Aug. 17.
For the upcoming election in November, POSAC recommends a total bond initiative for $75 million to $80 million. Between $60 million to $65 million is looking to be used toward the tier one and tier two projects, while $15 million to $20 million could be set aside for future projects.
While some residents may be concerned that the bond package would affect property taxes, POSAC Chair Scott Way ensures that the rates would stay the same.
“The Commissioners Court, what we’ve heard based on the recommendations that we’ve received from their financial advisor that a bond in a range that we are recommending would not cause any increase in the tax rate,” Way said.
Tier one, highly-recommended projects are of highest priority. The highest-rated project is the Coleman’s Canyon Preserve that is adjacent to the Jacob’s Well area.
The Cape’s Fishing Pond property in San Marcos was bought by Hays County in March. The entire property is about 29 acres with the pond just under six acres. The proposal includes a connection to the bridge over the San Marcos River, trails around Cape’s Pond and San Marcos River trails. POSAC member Jim Camp said the project’s goal is connectivity for areas in San Marcos along with recreational access.
“It looks like a great project because it has recreation,” Camp said. “It has a proposed fishing pond partnership with Texas Parks and Wildlife. It’s adjacent to, I think, a fish hatchery in San Marcos. It also scored high because it has San Marcos River access.”
Urban parks are listed as some of the tier two projects. The 14,000 square foot Dripping Springs Regional Skate Park would give individuals a place for recreational activity.
Patriot’s Hall, proposed to be near Dripping Springs, would give a 10-acre retreat for all veterans and their families. There would be about 60% to 70% green space available for campouts, cookouts and fitness challenges.
The next Commissioners Court’s meeting is Aug. 11 with a possible agenda item of discussing the bond initiative.