2014-02-19 / Front Page

Laguna Point Park begins in Port Mansfield

BY TONY VINDELL
Reporter

The proposed Laguna Point Recreation Park in Port Mansfield is finally taking off.

County and navigation district officials will meet Thursday during a ground breaking at the park to be built off South Port Road.

The Willacy County Commissioners’ Court awarded a bid to Peacock General Contractors of Harlingen, which submitted the lowest of three bids.

Peacock’s bid came in at a little more than $1,035,076, while Zimmerman Construction submitted a bid for $ 1,136,956 and GP7 Construction’s bid was for $1,383,225.

Peter A. Ravella, an Austin- based consultant working on the project since day one, said he is glad to see the project finally taking off the ground.

“It’s a long time coming. I am very happy we finally reached this point,” he said. “ It going to be a good project.”

Ravella said the park will have a 200-foot fishing pier, a playground, a walking trail, a conservation and habitat area and a board walk.

However, because of budget issues, the park will have no restrooms until some time later.

The estimate to install water and sewer lines from the main area of the port to the park site, came at $300,000 over what has been budgeted for the park.

“That is more expensive than building a pier,” Ravella said. “ Anytime you are dealing with grant money you have to consider a lot of factors.”

Another issue is the park lighting.

Ravella said the park will have some, not all, solar lights because the money for that did not fit in the budget.

In other words, he said, the figure was excessively high.

Naismith Engineering Inc. of Corpus Christi is also working on the project.

Funding for the park comes from $800,000 in grants from the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department and the Texas General Land Office.

As to the land, more than 30 acres were donated by the navigation district, which also allocated close to $167,000 for the project.

LPRA is to be built on 30 acres of land donated by the WCND, which also allocated $166,700 for the project.

The new park is less than 2 miles from the county-run Fred Stone Park - a facility with deplorable restrooms while its fishing pier has been without lights for several months now.

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