Grant approval

The city of Hudson Oaks was recently awarded a $2.1 million Transportation Alternative grant from the Texas Department of Transportation that will be used for Phase 1 of its trail master plan.

The city of Hudson Oaks was recently awarded a $2.1 million Transportation Alternative grant from the Texas Department of Transportation that will be used for Phase 1 of its trail master plan.

The grant application — which was funded in full through TxDOT’s Safe Routes to Schools program — will be used for 80 percent of the project, the other 20 percent will be funded by a local match from the city’s general fund, according to the city.

“It’s very humbling to know that the state of Texas has such high regard for the city of Hudson Oaks that it awarded us the largest amount of state funds in the most recent call for grant projects,” Hudson Oaks Mayor Marc Povero said. “I want to thank our staff for putting together the grant proposal that secured these funds for our residents and visitors. Grant proposals are very extensive and time-consuming to prepare and our team did an outstanding job of describing how the use of these public funds will benefit our city and neighboring communities.”

TxDOT awarded funding for 30 bicycle and pedestrian projects through its Safe Routes to Schools program. TxDOT administers SRTS funds for locally sponsored infrastructure projects that facilitate walking and biking to school, according to TxDOT’s funding programs webpage. Projects may be located anywhere in the state as long as they are within two miles of a school, kindergarten through eighth grade campuses.

Phase 1 of the Hudson Oaks Trail Master Plan will connect into the city of Weatherford’s trail system north of Mary Martin Elementary School and run parallel to Inspiration Drive down to Hudson Oaks City Hall, according to the city. The project will also include converting Inspiration Drive to a one-lane, one-way street eastbound. The trail will allow for pedestrian connection from Mary Martin to the city of Hudson Oaks facilities and sidewalks, Gene L. Voyles Park, H-E-B and the Oakey commercial corridor.

“Our residents in the comprehensive planning process established a clear goal to build multimodal trails and connections between our neighborhoods and the retail district,” Hudson Oaks City Administrator Patrick Lawler said. “I am excited for our far north residents to be able to safely ride a bike to Boomin’ 4th or walk their kids to school. Our goal is eventually to apply for a second round of funding to connect our southern neighborhoods as well.”

The trail will welcome walkers, joggers and bicyclists.

“The city of Weatherford has done an outstanding job of building a safe and well-constructed bike and jogging trails and we will soon be able to connect our two cities in a way that has not been possible until now,” Povero said. “In the future, we anticipate connecting our entire city with similar jogging and biking trails.”

Implementing a trail in the city has been a community priority since 2012 and securing funding for the trail system was an adopted priority of the Hudson Oaks city council in the 2017 strategic plan.

“In our strategic plan that was drafted in 2012, our residents and business owners told us that they wanted more parks and recreation opportunities. The city council heard our constituents loud and clear and we have been working ever since to secure these state grant funds to build the trail system,” Povero said. “My commitment when I first ran for mayor was to provide our residents with a safe place to live that was property tax free and to improve our quality of life through beautification projects as well as parks and trails. This grant funding is a huge step to improving the quality of life of our residents who love the outdoors and who value time with family outside the world of our electronic devices.”

Lawler said they are proud that they were the largest projects to receive funding.

“We are still working with TxDOT to finalize the funding agreements and timelines,” Lawler said.

Povero said in the past fiscal year, the city saw a significant increase in sales tax revenue, which makes projects like this possible.

“Our council has made a commitment to reinvest those dollars back into the community,” Povero said. “I can’t think of a better way to invest in our citizens and businesses than by providing more opportunities for them to enjoy the community that they call home.”

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