The City of Overton is taking the first steps toward the approval and installment of walking trails adjacent to Overton Lake with options available for either the northern and southern half of the lake on the western side.
The city will be applying for the Texas Parks and Wildlife (TP&W) Recreational Trails Grant which is an 80/20 matching grant and has created a council-member free ad hoc committee to investigate and consider the regulations for such a project.
Such regulations would be the TP&W preference that these trails be in and around wooded areas.
While the city scrambles to regain its financial foothold, the Overton Economic Development Corporation (OEDC) and the Overton Municipal Development District (OMDD) have joined forces to cover the 20% cost to complete the project, plus the 6% fee required by the engineering company utilized to complete the grant paperwork.
TP&W will reimburse the project expenses up to a maximum of $200,000.
While there is some contention from the community, city officials feel this walking trail is a worthwhile endeavor, as the health and wellbeing of its residents is high on city officials’ list of priorities.
“We have a lot of people that walk. I walk myself,” said Overton Mayor C.R. Evans. “I try to walk at least five times a week, and there are plenty more around here that do the same. Once this is approved and completed, they can come out to our lake area and do their walking.”
The lake and the area surrounded it functions as the recreation epicenter of Overton, and the walking trails would be a sensible addition to this area of town.
“We’re excited about it,” said Overton Mayor, C.R. Evans. “The main thing we need to get right now is comments from businesses, from the schools. Not only our school but schools around us that might be interested in making some comments to give to the engineering company the information they need to write this grant.”
While the grant application is due February 1, 2021, city administrators need input from the community by January 25, 2021.
The template for a support letter to TP&W regarding the Recreation Trails Grant can be found on the city’s website at https://cityofoverton.com. Make sure to remove the highlighting and red directions that are added to it before submitting. Submission instructions are included in the letter.