A popular park in Bedford is looking for a $70 million upgrade.
Boys Ranch Park with its lake, sports facilities and water park could see some major changes in the next few years if voters give the project the go-ahead.
City Council voted to send the bond package to voters on a Nov. 7 ballot.
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“This is for our 'Phase Next Project' at the boys Ranch Park,” Mayor Jim Griffin explained. “What we are trying to do here is combine the phases that our master plan looked at; phases two, three and four into one final phase.”
“With the city government, a lot of times things take many, many years to get accomplished,” Griffin added.
The bulk of the upgrades would one in the form of a new multi-generational facility and new sports facility.
“Provide more classroom space for Jazzercise, yoga and exercise rooms. We have very limited space in our current facility with very limited numbers of pieces of equipment and those types of things,” Griffin said. “I think this is an opportunity to really grow and expand on that.”
Other additions would include new baseball fields, a nine-court tennis facility capable of hosting tournaments, soccer practice fields and an area for concerts.
“We're trying to do an indoor water park component with that as well. We are trying to update our current water park which is an outdoor facility [by] relocating and redoing it,” Griffin said. “We've been told by our consultants that we are reaching the end of life in that facility in terms of having to redo a lot.”
Some voters now wonder where that $70 million would come from.
“We have a couple of options. We can add a portion of it into the debt and absorb it. That way and have tax payers pay a piece,” Griffin explained. “Or we can ask the taxpayers to pay the whole piece. I think it would be roughly four or five cents more if we the taxpayer absorb the whole amount.”
“The city of Bedford has done a very good job of being fiscally responsible and conservative with our debt so that continues to go down,” Griffin added.
Mayor Griffin said he thinks the park changes are key to quality of life in the area and keeping Bedford competitive.
"We are a suburban community between Dallas and Fort Worth. We're close to the airport. We have a lot of the reasons why people want to live here,” Griffin said. “In order for them to live here and grow their families and raise their families here, they are going to need to have things to be a benefit to their families."