Two Southlake parks are set to receive major upgrades thanks to a couple of local sports associations and a long-standing partnership program through the Southlake Parks Development Corporation (SPDC).
On October 16th, the City Council, following a recommendation from the SPDC Board of Directors, approved SPDC Matching Funds requests from the Southlake Girls Softball Association and Dragon Youth Baseball awarding more than $112,000 toward park improvements.
The Southlake Girls Softball Association was awarded $37,500 toward the purchase and installation of up to 16 soft-toss hitting stations at Bob Jones Park, half the total project cost of $75,000. These improvements will provide effective batting practice and alleviate overcrowding at the existing revamped batting cages.
Dragon Youth Baseball was awarded $75,000, half the total project cost of $150,000, toward the purchase and installation of synthetic turf on Field 9 at Bicentennial Park. Installing synthetic turf will provide a dependable surface for players to train and will allow them to maintain a consistent schedule by avoiding weather-related closures.
These improvements will be made possible through the City’s SPDC Matching Funds program. The program dates back to 1997, with a mission to provide a process for considering requests by petitioning individuals or organizations for the SPDC Matching Funds projects. Proposals are considered on a project-by-project basis and should align with the ongoing advancement and implementation of the Southlake 2030 Parks, Recreation and Open Space/Community Facilities Master Plan. If the proposed project meets the criteria and can help further enhance an existing project, the City Council, following a recommendation from the SPDC Board of Directors, determines the percentage match up to 100%.
Approval of the matching funds requests not only meets City goals to provide attractive spaces and collaborate with partners to implement service solutions, but it also substantially offsets City cost for capital improvements. “It enables the City to leverage its capital funding to implement worthwhile capital park improvements for the enjoyment of Southlake citizens,” said Chris Tribble, Director of Community Services.
Since 2013, the City has contributed more than $300,000 in SPDC Matching Funds and over $600,000 in project costs supporting a total of 5 organizations toward the development and improvements for parks and recreation programs.
The Southlake Parks Development Corporation was formed when Southlake voters approved the special levy of a half-cent sales tax in the mid-1990s. The half-cent, which generates about $5 million per year, is dedicated toward the acquisition and development of Southlake’s parkland as well as park maintenance and other parks-related operational costs. The SPDC is governed by a seven-member Board of Directors that are appointed by the City Council.
To learn more about the SPDC visit their webpage.