Belton City Council to Consider Purchasing Land to Expand Heritage Park

Belton City Council to Consider Purchasing Land to Expand Heritage Park
May 07, 2018

The Belton City Council will consider a proposal on Tuesday that, if approved, will more than double the size of Heritage Park.

“This is a very special opportunity, a legacy-type project,” Belton Mayor Marion Grayson said. “Heritage Park is a place where families have created memories together for generations, and its potential to do so in the future would be enhanced by increasing the size of it from 65 acres to nearly 150 acres.”

“Heritage Park has served Belton very well for an extended period of time, but we have outgrown it,” Belton City Manager Sam Listi said. “This is an exciting expansion opportunity where the additional acreage would help address both current and future needs.”

The proposal is to purchase 84.25 acres of property adjacent and north of the current park at a cost of $2,105,250. The proposed purchase involves the southernmost part of the former Leon Valley Golf Course. If the agreement is approved, the City of Belton would also have the First Right of Refusal to purchase the remaining 55-plus acres of the former golf course for three years.

In addition, the agreement calls for the City to receive 60 percent of the Leon River water rights of the former golf course tract.

Heritage Park is the busiest park in the City of Belton parks system, primarily due to youth baseball and soccer league use.

The purchase of additional parkland is in line with the Belton Parks and Recreation Strategic Master Plan, adopted in 2016, which identifies parkland acquisition as an important priority in meeting current and future needs. In addition, the City’s current Strategic Plan also identifies park enhancements as important to Belton’s outstanding quality of life.

The City has already received approval from Texas Parks and Wildlife to use $500,000 of the purchase price as credit for a parks grant that could help fund $1 million in improvements to the park through a future grant application.

If approved, a robust, community-wide effort to plan for the expansion of the park is anticipated, with the needs identified in the Parks Master Plan receiving first consideration. The Parks Board and City staff would develop recommendations for City Council consideration. The planning process could begin as early as this fall.