A small grassy field just off Sixth Street would give less complicated obtain to the Shoal Creek Trail and protect a traditionally major piece of downtown, but Town Council members delayed action on the $1.1 million buy to handle issues that the cash could possibly be put in much better somewhere else.

Metropolis Council opted to postpone a vote Oct. 15 on an merchandise that would have authorized the acquisition of a quarter-acre plot on Wooden Street adjoining Shoal Creek. Parks and Recreation proposed acquiring the plot to build an ADA-available route to the creek trail and to honor the area’s historic importance as an early African American settlement.

Town Council postponed the decision to acquire the land amid uncertainty about the property’s use offered its location and surroundings.

Council Member Kathie Tovo, whose district involves the home, mentioned she supports the buy due to the fact it would give better obtain to the Shoal Creek Trail, which has been a very long-phrase priority.

“The Shoal Creek Trail does not just provide these who are living in the downtown space – possibly going to or (residing) downtown – but actually extends north,” Tovo claimed. “It’s a very big mobility corridor for cyclists and pedestrians.”

The cash for the million-greenback buy – about $125 per sq. foot – would arrive from parkland devotion charges produced in the downtown region. Below point out law, parkland commitment expenses can be put in in a quarter-mile to a single-mile radius of exactly where they were collected.

In the course of a Council function session on Oct. 13, Parks and Recreation Director Kimberly McNeeley reported obtaining the land would make it possible for the metropolis to establish yet another ADA-available entry point to the Shoal Creek Path. There are presently two ADA-obtainable access details to the path positioned close by, one particular 400 ft north and a further 500 feet south of the Wood Avenue assets.

Council Member Natasha Harper-Madison supported postponement and took issue with the lot’s uninviting look, inaccessible spot and length from household regions. Harper-Madison reported the parkland commitment costs would be better expended in parkland-deficient areas with extra household progress.

The lot sits within of the larger Wooden Avenue Historic Settlement, which was settled by formerly enslaved folks at the stop of the Civil War. There is currently a historic marker for the space just a few hundred ft south in the vicinity of the bridge in excess of Shoal Creek. McNeeley stated acquiring the Wooden Street land would enable the metropolis to generate an extra educational room for trailgoers to learn much more about the legacy of the Black settlers. Academic applications could include signals with pics and data about the family members who lived there, or occasional reside history activities on the house.

Harper-Madison reported in an e mail that while she applauds the intent to showcase the area’s background, an set up honoring the settlement at nearby Duncan Park would be far more visible and accessible to the community than the Wood Street house.

Even though the city’s parkland acquisition recommendations prioritize land inside of a quarter-mile of household advancement, the closest residential development is a mile or far more away from the Wooden Street plot, Harper-Madison mentioned.

Council Member Jimmy Flannigan reported he shared Harper-Madison’s problems and supported postponement till they experienced the likelihood to ask extra questions about the acquisition.

Tovo stated she hopes to see the product move at a later meeting. Harper-Madison claimed she would speak with other Council associates about her worries ahead of supporting the order.

This tale was written by a journalism university student at the College of Texas at Austin. The Austin Observe is doing the job in partnership with the UT University of Journalism to instruct and publish stories made by students in the Town and County Government Reporting course.

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