Council, county discuss park trade to add more downtown parking

The May 11 election will determine who will serve as the next mayor and the newest members of the Glen Rose City Council.

Part of Chauncey Park behind Town Hall may become parking spaces. The big trees would be preserved. 

By Kathryn Jones


Trying to find parking around the Courthouse Annex can be…well, trying sometimes.

When court is in session, parking spaces quickly fill up. County employees also need a place to park.

To help alleviate that problem, the county government has approached the city government about using some of the space at Chauncey Park behind Town Hall for seven to eight head-in parking spaces like the ones already on the west side of the city building. The parking would be public and not designated.

A possible trade of the county-owned Paluxy Heritage Park for the city-owned Chauncey Park was a topic of discussion at the Glen Rose City Council’s meeting Monday evening.

County Judge Mike Ford assured the council that the county would preserve the big trees at Chauncey Park.

Councilman Chris Bryant said his main concern was that the park is “the only green spot in downtown other than the courthouse” grounds.

“We had thought of having a picnic area for tourists,” he said, as well as using the park for future festivals.

Councilman Danny Chambers asked Ford what the advantage for the city would be of taking over Heritage Park.

“We were approached” about a possible trade, Ford responded. “You approached us with that.”

During the process of discussing the need for parking spaces, the potential trade came up, he explained.

“It’s not a make-or-break question for us,” he said.

Councilman Johnny Martin, who was named mayor pro tem later in the meeting, said he didn’t have any problem with using part of Chauncey Park for more parking. The sidewalk could be taken out, he noted.

“Six feet in you start running into a water line,” Councilman Mike Jones observed.

Councilwoman Sandra Ramsay said her biggest question was the cost of maintaining Heritage Park.

Ford said he could get those figures to the council. Vandalism to the restrooms also has occurred there, he said. That’s also been a recurring problem at the city’s Big Rocks Park.

In the end, the council indicated it may not want to do a park trade, but was willing to help provide more parking.

“It is hard to find parking if you’re trying to get a license renewed,” Ramsay said.

She suggested more research be done and the item could be placed on next month’s council meeting agenda.

The council also approved a re-plat of a lot at the county-owned Gibbs Industrial Park for a new manufacturing business moving to town, B&B Windows. Its approval was needed because the property is in the city limits.

The new business “will produce a significant number of jobs,” Ford said.

B&B Windows will occupy the large lot at Bo Gibbs Boulevard and Progress Street. However, it does not need the whole lot, so the property was surveyed and split down the middle, Ford said. The lot would be divided into two 3.85-acre parcels.

“It’s good for the county to retain property that ultimately will be needed for expansion or new business coming in,” Ford said.

In other business, the council voted unanimously to contract with Cleburne Fence Co. for a cedar privacy fence at Oakdale Park. The cost was $4,500.

At the beginning of the meeting during the time set aside for citizen comments, developer Anthony Roffino said he would like to see the city put up a 600-foot painted guardrail on the inside of the Texas Drive curve at the top of the hill.

The city resurfaced the road and installed big buttons there after a Glen Rose wife and mother, 42-year-old Carla Jones, in 2010 was struck by a driver and killed while walking with a friend on Texas Drive. The wide road  has become a popular walking spot for local residents.

Roffino also said that the overlook at the top of the hill used to provide a clear view of the city. Now trees have grown so high that they obscure the view, he said.

He suggested that the trees be cleared out so the view can be restored. Roffino noted this year marks the 25th anniversary of “The Promise” passion play, staged at the Texas Ampitheatre at the end of Texas Drive, and that removing the trees from the overlook would be a “good gesture on our part.”



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