The project to construct a boardwalk over Lake Weatherford is advancing.
Parks, Recreation and Special Events Director Shannon Goodman said dirt work and clean-up at Azle Park is expected to begin in late October. The goal is to open the boardwalk in late spring or early summer of next year.
The boardwalk would stretch from East Lake Drive to West Lake Drive below the Farm-to-Market Road 730 bridge, Goodman said previously. The project would also renovate Azle Park and clean up other areas around the lake.
Last week, Weatherford Municipal Utility Board approved a contract with EzDock of Texas for about $1.29 million for the cost of materials and installation.
In the May 30 utility board meeting, about $2.8 million was approved in funding for development of parks around Lake Weatherford. About $1.27 million is from the Lake Capital projects fund and the rest is from the Utility Reserve fund.
“There are several stages to the Lake Weatherford Parks and Open Space Development plan,” Goodman said. “The boardwalk project is the first, with the floating walkway, a walking trail, a fishing/kayak launch pier, a restroom, pavilion, playground, small landscape areas, adding more trees, parking lots and signage. After the boardwalk project is completed we will continue to work our way around the lake with developing the small properties over the next few years.”
Moving forward, Goodman said the first step in the project is site preparation, then installation of the boardwalk and fishing pier. The plan is to work on other site improvements during the winter and spring, weather permitting.
During the meeting, Goodman answered questions that the board has asked during the previous board meeting on topics including lighting and maintenance.
“The reason I asked so much for the public safety and the maintenance information on that is because the only thing worse than a poor facility is a new one that’s not safe and that’s not maintained properly,” Mayor Paul Paschall said during the meeting.
Goodman said a camera system that links back to police dispatch is being considered to protect city property and monitor public safety conditions.
“These camera systems could tie back into dispatch, and dispatch can monitor those things, so it’s on a 24-hour monitoring system,” Goodman said.
The camera could be programmed to detect movement after the park has closed, Goodman said.
Board member Heidi Wilder during the meeting said the lake community association should be involved in monitoring and volunteering to help areas near Lake Weatherford.
“I think that is a way to build a strong community by including our Lake Weatherford association in helping monitor the lake and helping provide whatever volunteer services are needed to keep our place beautiful,” Wilder said.
Goodman said in the meeting that contracts for parking lots will need to come to the board for approval moving forward as well as discussions about gateway markers.