Lake Wichita Revitalization Committee gets new design firm

Lake Wichita Revitalization Committee gets new design firm

WICHITA FALLS, Tx (RNN Texoma) - Time is running out for the Lake Wichita Revitalization Committee to raise $1.5 million to match grants from Texas Parks and Wildlife.

If they don't, their dreams of a busy and active lakefront could dry up.

But a new design firm could save the project a lot of money.

The City of Wichita Falls and firm Kimley-Horn are still working out the details before they go to city council.

Changes could save the project over $200,000.

City and Committee leaders said that's important in finishing the projects before the grants expire.

"We do want to be frugal with what people give us," Interim Chair of the Lake Wichita Revitalization Committee, Penny Miller said. "We want to get the best deal while still being able to get what we want."

The committee is working hard to complete the three shoreline projects that they hoped would have been paid for by the failed bond proposition in May.

The projects include a boardwalk and pavilion, a Kemp Street Boat Ramp, and a Veterans Memorial Plaza.

"We want this to be a project the city will be proud of," Miller said. "And we want people to be willing to invest their money and be able to look back and say hey I helped do this."

They're moving as quickly as they can because two matching grants the City of Wichita Falls was awarded from the Texas Parks and Wildlife, totaling a million dollars, expire in July 2019 and June 2021 if the Lake Wichita Committee doesn't raise matching funds.

Miller said that's why it was so important to find a new design firm at a reasonable price.

"Like any big project, you break it down into smaller pieces and you eat that elephant one bit at a time," she said. "So this is just the next bite of the elephant."

Miller said the committee has raised enough money for the design phase of the projects but is still raising money for construction.

"We need to look further for opportunities and find people who want to help," she said.

Wichita Falls Deputy City Manager Jim Dockery said the grants could be extended for a year if the committee makes good progress on the projects.

"We were given a timeline and the expectation is we get the project done," Miller said. "We want the city to grow, we want the city to be more prosperous, we want people to come here, spend money here. This is the key."

Miller said the revitalization committee has raised all the money needed for the design of the projects but has not raised all the money needed for construction.

Lake Wichita supporters and committee members are looking for volunteers to work on committees and help raise the money needed to save those state grants.

If you are looking to get involved, click here.

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