AUSTIN (KXAN) - Plans are in store for new park land in Austin. The area around the old power plant on Holly Street on the east side will be undergoing a transformation. As the city moves forward, they want input from the public.
Austin's Parks and Recreation Department held a workshop Monday at Martin Middle School to engage the public.
Project organizers presented a master plan to the group, comprised mainly people from the neighborhood surrounding the park land.
Stretching from Interstate 35 east to Pleasant Valley Road, along the north shore of Lady Bird Lake, lies 90 acres of parkland. That's the land the city plans to develop and improve.
"I think there needs to be more access to the lake itself," said Angelica Noyola, who lives in the area.
The plans include that. In fact, the project design shows everything from a beach, to decks, to a 14 foot wide footbridge out into the water.
"It's prime park land," said project manager Chris Yanez. "It's exactly what everybody wants; access to the water and use of the water for the general public."
The master plan is to redevelop Edward Rendon Park at Festival Beach, Fiesta Gardens, and the Holly Power Plant Site. The decommissioned plant will provide an additional nine acres of park land.
"It's going to increase recreational opportunities, and it's going to open up the area for pedestrian, vehicular and bicycle access," Yanez said.
The long-term vision, planners say, is to improve and maintain the quality of life in that area. That's important for families looking to the future.
"They're improving the shoreline," said Lance Lambert, looking at his six-month-old baby girl, "and they're creating more play space, specifically for children."
The entire project could take up to 20 years. Planners say the rate of progress depends heavily on funding.
Austin City Council will vote Thursday to approve an extra $7 million for the continued decommissioning of the plant. The extra money would help with engineering and also environmental concerns to make sure the land is ready for use as a park.
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