American Legion Post 169 opposes WF City circle trail

The Circle Trial may bring in traffic that can negatively impact veterans
Published: Jul. 7, 2021 at 11:28 PM CDT
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WICHITA FALLS, Texas (KAUZ) - The Wichita Falls American Legion Post 169 has drawn a line in the dirt with the Wichita Falls council members over a piece of land that is being proposed to complete The Wichita Falls Circle Trail.

The American Legion Post 169 has been in existence for over 50 years and by the city of Wichita Falls continuing this circle trail they say it may bring in foot traffic that can negatively impact veterans who call the post their second home.

“Veterans that come down here have PTSD and fish. So whether they catch a fish or not nobody’s bothering them and to me it’s just sad”, said Charles Barrett Post Commander Post Commander Wichita Falls Legion Posts.

While continuing to have a peaceful place for their veterans to gather during programs is a number one concern, legion members say it’s not the only one.

“The amount of drug use and things like that around the building we had to have a gate put in to secure it. So running the path through here is going to open this place right back up to that. Plus we have a pavilion back here and there’s nobody here in the middle of the night,” said Michael Kurtz Finance Officer Wichita Falls American Legion Post 169.

Post members says while they knew the project was in the works they were never contacted by the city and nothing was set in stone. Until one morning they should up and there were markers for the proposed trail in the ground.

“At no point in time has the city come to us and said hey this is what we’re doing. How can we work something out or how can we do this with the least amount of impact to you guys because we know you’ve been here for a long time,” said Kurtz.

While they say they aren’t sure where their land stops and the city’s began they do maintain it. However the city of Wichita falls has done their own surveys.

“The property that Post 169 has is probably if I was guessing maybe half a football field away. So about a 150 feet away,” said Pat Hoffman Property Administrator City of Wichita Falls.

The city of Wichita Falls says this is the first they are hearing about any pushback from the legion, since the project was started three years ago.

“The city had public right of way between their property and the lake which is where we’re going to continue the circle trail,” said Hoffman.

The city says they have also worked with American Legion Post 120 to get land needed for parts of the trail.

“We owned another parcel of land adjacent to where they are currently located. So we basically did a land swap,” said Hoffman.

Hoffman would like to have a conversation with those that served our country at Post 169 about where to go from here.

“Just to answer any questions that they have. Or any confusing about what we’re doing and if they don’t understand the project we’d be happy to explain it,” said Hoffman.

Legion Post 169 members says they will be working with the Department of Texas to verify land surveys and property deeds to try to come to some agreement with the City of Wichita Falls before the cement of The Circle Trail dries.

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