Weatherford Democrat

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June 12, 2014

Council moves forward with Miracle League proposal

WEATHERFORD —

By BRIAN SMITH

A wastewater line extension for a proposed Miracle League ballpark west of town was approved by Weatherford city council members during Tuesday night’s meeting.

Miracle League is an organization that helps remove barriers that keep children with disabilities off the baseball field. The nearest field to Parker County is in Arlington.

George Mercer told the Municipal Utility Board at its Feb. 27 meeting he is willing to donate land he owns and pay for all construction costs for the field, to be located on Tin Top Road north of B.B. Fielder Road, if the city would extend the wastewater line from B.B. Fielder to the facility, an estimated 1,360 linear feet according to a staff report. Mercer hoped the construction of the field would bring players from the west side of the Metroplex and potentially as far away as Abilene.

Mercer said he liked the location because of the number of ADA accessible hotel rooms in Weatherford. Municipal board members approved the idea at the time as city policy requires board approval for extensions serving developments or special projects. At the time, the board recommended constructing a pro rata line, funded through  bond monies as well as Hotel Occupancy Tax (HOT) funds, since the project would be expected to help fill hotel rooms.

Assistant City Manager Sharon Hayes said further evaluation showed the extension would only have two potential customers and would not be suitable for a pro rata project. Hayes did say bids for the estimated $85,000 project would be opened next week and that HOT monies were available for the project. 

In other news during the 25-minute meeting:

• Director of Planning and Development Craig Farmer gave an update on the 100th Anniversary of the Bankhead Highway project in 2016. Weatherford Chamber of Commerce officials have been working with the group for the last three years, Farmer said, and are looking for corporate sponsors locally for the event.

Farmer told Historic Preservation Commission members a car show and parade are potential events in town. TxDOT officials are planning on bringing tourism experts to town for a series of workshops in early 2015 to work with the city on developing the event.

Farmer said Weatherford Parks and Recreation is also on board with the project and are discussing setting up a committee to work on the celebration.

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