Electra Commissioners approved $30,000 in parks spending this week. The effort is part of a larger push to get people to think of Electra when they look for a place to live.
The $30,000 approved for next year's budget is in addition to $30,000 added to this year's. That money will go to tearing down the old, dilapidated park playground and replacing it with a newer, safer one, but, that is just the beginning.
"We have a very positive concept to re-develop the community as a bedroom community," said Electra Commissioner Pl. 2 Margie Scott. Further plans include renovating the city pool and adding a splash park, building a skate park, building a BMX bike park and adding walking trails to the city park.
City Council also approved $30,000 to continue demolition on run-down structures in town. This is all in an effort to capitalize on the economic growth in Wichita Falls and around Texoma. Electra officials hope sprucing up the town will get people interested in moving there.
But, these are tough economic times. Should the city be spending this kind of money on parks?
"I think there's no risk to this at all," said City Administrator Stephen Giesbrecht. Giesbrecht said the city has money in reserve and sales tax revenues are actually up.
Giesbrecht said the city will not raise taxes or issue bonds to pay for these projects. Electra will be looking to grants to pay for much of the work. And the Public Works department will be doing much of the work to save on labor.
Officials say this will be a long process. Giesbrecht said they don't want to spend what they don't have and much of the pace of the overall project could depend on public enthusiasm.