Sweetwater adopts new parks plan with sports complex
ABILENE, Texas - The city of Sweetwater adopted a 10-year Parks Master Plan Tuesday, and it's expected to bring new facilities and upgrades to existing parks. The most expensive addition would be a $9.1 million sports complex. "[It will have] softball, soccer flex fields, football and soccer combined fields and then some playgrounds and concessions and parking you know all that good stuff," said Sweetwater City Manager David Vela. With Sweetwater being at the intersection of two major roads, Interstate 20 and Highway 70, as well as being a sports-oriented city, Vela sees the upgrades as something to carry the city economically. "Not only is it a quality of life initiative in my mind, but it can be a positive economic development tool to help our economy get going," Vela said. Nearly 1,000 people from Sweetwater responded to surveys put out by the city and the results indicated the three things they wanted to see changed the most. "For one, the new sports complex and the second one right behind that was the splash pads. I think the youth of Sweetwater could utilize the splash pads and we think it's our turn to take a look at something like that. The number three project that we found was important to them was the trails plan," Vela said. The main goal of the trails plan is to create a safe route for kids going to school and families wanting to enjoy the amenities already in Sweetwater. Smaller additions include upgrades to equipment across existing parks and a possible dog park attached to Newman Park. As for paying for the projects, the city is looking at applying for parks and wildlife grants or possibly calling for a bond election.