City Council Declines Chance to Expand Heritage Park

City Council Declines Chance to Expand Heritage Park
December 10, 2019
BELTON, Texas – The Belton City Council today made a decision which confirms the future footprint of Heritage Park will not encompass the entire former Leon Valley Golf Course property.

By unanimous vote, Councilmembers Tuesday declined an opportunity to purchase the northernmost 30 acres of the former golf course for $1 million.

In May 2018, Councilmembers authorized the purchase of the southernmost 85 acres of the former golf course for $2.1 million. That purchase included a right of first refusal that allows the city to purchase the remaining 51.5 acres for up to three years.

On Nov. 20, the property owner notified the city that it had received an offer on 30 of the 51.5 acres adjacent to the Mystic River Subdivision.

“My recommendation to the Belton City Council was to decline the purchase of the 30 acres,” City Manager Sam Listi said. “The property is not contiguous with the current park boundaries, and our focus needs to remain on developing the current park, which now totals 150 acres.”

A further expansion of Heritage Park is still possible, as Belton’s right of first refusal remains active on the remaining 21.5 acres until May 2021. That acreage, which is located between Heritage Park and the northernmost 30 acres, is currently on the market.

On Aug. 13, Councilmembers awarded a $557,352 bid to RT Schneider Construction to extend 24th Avenue and an 8-inch water line into the park. Construction on this project is currently under way.

In November, Councilmembers approved a Master Plan to guide the development of Heritage Park. The first phase of improvements is projected to cost $4.3 million and includes additional parking and restrooms, dock access to Leon River, a recreation pavilion, a new trail and multipurpose recreation fields.

On Dec. 2, the city submitted a $750,000 grant application to Texas Parks and Wildlife, which if awarded would help fund planned improvements at the park. Texas Parks and Wildlife is expected to announce its grant awards in late spring.