May 26, 2007
West 11th Street Park saved!

Assuming we do eventually get a budget passed, it looks like it will contain a provision to pay off the debt for the West 11th Street Park. Jeff Balke has the details. Major kudos to Sen. John Whitmire for making this happen.

UPDATE: Here's the Chron story.

"I'm so excited," said Councilwoman Toni Lawrence, whose district includes the park in the Timbergrove Manor neighborhood in northwest Houston. "I'll give (Mayor) Bill White all the credit in the world, because it started with him," when White announced last year that the city would contribute $4 million toward the purchase price of the land.

Sen. John Whitmire, D-Houston, inserted the funding for the park in the state budget for local parks grants. It was part of the overall state budget approved by House and Senate conferees Friday and scheduled for votes in both chambers this weekend.

"There has been so much effort to preserve this 20 acres for neighborhood parks," Whitmire said. "But all the stakeholders came up short. I saw an opportunity to solve the problem."

Preserving the land was important to Whitmire because he has represented the area for more than 30 years, as a state representative and senator.


Whitmire announced that he sealed the deal once the budget was voted on in conference committee and the report was printed.

"If I weren't confident about its chances, I wouldn't have made it public. I'm happy to be in a position to help those who worked longer and harder than I have on this project," Whitmire said. "It seemed like the natural thing to do."

Damn fine news. Kudos all around.

Posted by Charles Kuffner on May 26, 2007 to Elsewhere in Houston