Odessa Holding Town Hall Meeting To Discuss Parks
July 24, 2013
New homes are going up all over Odessa, but some are concerned that there is a lack of parks to accommodate the growing population.
“It’s been approximately 19 years since we’ve built a park from scratch,” said Steve Patton, Director of Parks and Recreation.
Odessa doesn’t have any parks east of loop 338, one of the fastest growing areas in the city. Neighbors in these areas say they would like to see a park closer to home.
“Absolutely, we’d love to have more running trials out here or parks. We like to spend a lot of time outside,” said Allison Heath, who lives on the east side.
Many parks have aging equipment and in some cases, the equipment hasn’t been replaced.
“We’ve got three parks right now that have no play ground equipment but we’re slowly getting there, to where we can replace that playgroup equipment.” Said Patton.
The city also wants to know what type of parks the community wants.
“Some of our younger parents want more athletic fields you know, some of our older citizens want more walking parks and this is just an idea to get their input,” said Mayor David Turner.
Turner says the booming economy provides a great opportunity to provide parks, which improves the quality of life in Odessa.
“With what we see in extra money in sales tax, we also have property values increasing, we are to take money from those sources to push towards parks,” Turner said.
Neighbors I spoke with say the parks would provide opportunities to exercise and socialize.
“We know a lot of our neighbors but, if we had a park here we might know more of them and spend more time outside, you know as a community.” Heath said.