City could get TxDOT funding to finish trail

December 12, 2012

Plans to turn the A.P. Gordon House at the Langdon Center into a Visitors Center may net enough grant funding to complete the final phase of the hike and bike trail.

City Manager Wayne McKethan said Monday that city staffers have applied for funding through the Texas Department of Transportation’s (TxDOT) Transportation Enhancement Program. The program makes available grant funding when a transportation project is combined with a visitors center.

The city had already been planning a Visitors Center at the Langdon site just east of the square. It was in the contract that the city signed with Tarleton University when the property changed hands, McKethan said.

If the grant is approved, TxDOT would give the city about $1.5 million for the last phase of the hike and bike trail, which would take the trail from Counts Alley to the Granbury Resort Conference Center. It’s part of the city’s master plan.

The city would have to pay just under $370,000, which McKethan said he will recommend be taken from the unrestricted fund balance. The total cost of the project would be about $1.8 million, with considerable savings to taxpayers if the city gets the grant, McKethan said.

The City Council was to vote last night on whether to adopt a resolution pledging financial support for the Visitors Center project and “sidewalk connectivity to historic sites, museums and parks.” The resolution is a necessary part of the grant application process, the city manager stated.

McKethan said that Preserve Granbury has assisted with the required documentation for the grant.

“It has been a public-private project that we’ve worked on together,” he said.

McKethan stated that the future Visitors Center will have a staffer to answer questions and to offer various brochures and pamphlets to visitors. Functions could also be held there.

“It would be a real asset to the community,” he said.

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