AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — After more than two years of planning and community feedback, the Amarillo City Council voted unanimously, officially approving the city’s parks master plan.
That vote came during the council’s regular session meeting on Tuesday, Sept. 28 on a non-consent agenda item.
Amarillo Parks and Recreation Director, Michael Kashuba, said much of the city’s capital funding will take effect Friday, Oct. 1, meaning they can quickly start working to make improvements.
He said their biggest priority after hearing community input was fixing the park infrastructure the city already has.
“We want to make sure that that funding is spent on what our community wants and needs,” said Kashuba. “We know that we’ve got infrastructure that needs to be replaced, but we’ve also heard from our community that they want new amenities as well and so there’s a balancing act.”
After a survey, a night of community engagement, and more, Parks Board Chairman Joh Ingerson said they have an opportunity to move the needle forward.
“The parks staff is awesome and the council has stepped up with some additional funding,” Ingerson said. “And now, with them adopting the master plan, we have a great strategy on how to implement that. So, I think with those three things combined, I think the citizens are really gonna be pretty excited about the future of parks in Amarillo.”
Kashuba said there is some additional funding if a tax increase is approved by voters in November.
“That would continue to move a lot of those parks items forward in the future, and allow us to add new items cover areas that maybe are not covered currently with our existing parking network, and making sure that it reflects what our community wants and needs.”
Kashuba said if the increase is not approved, citizens will not lose items in the parks master plan.
“So, we would be looking to utilize best practices in a lot of our park design. So, in areas where our neighborhood parks are, restrooms may not be warranted in those situations, areas that are regional parks, community parks where you’ve got large gatherings where people are walking to those facilities, those types of amenities are more appropriate there,” said Kashuba. “So, at this point we’re just looking to start making those improvements that the community has requested.”
Kashuba also said the council will consider related components, including the public art and beautification plan and the hike and bike master plan, on October 12.