Tyler City Council approves sister city partnership in China, Fun Forest pool renovation

Tyler City Council approves sister city partnership in China, Fun Forest pool renovation
(Source: KTLV.com)

TYLER, TX (KLTV) - Tyler City Council met on Wednesday to discuss several important items, including the possibility of a new convention center.

During the 9 a.m. meeting, the Tyler Sister Cities Board gave a presentation on a proposed new sister city, that being Quijing, China. Tyler had voted to form a partnership with the city back in 2001, and the first group of Tyler business people visited Quijing in 2002.. Later that year, students from the city came to Tyler to participate in classes at Tyler Junior College.

In Wednesday's meeting, the sister cities board has approved the partnership with Quijing. The city council approved it, as well.

In other business, the city council considered and approved a donation from the Smith County District Attorney's Office for $105,000 for the Tyler Police Department to purchase safety and operational equipment, as well as for video conferencing equipment. 

CItizens who have been asking for the city to help make improvements to Fun Forest Park in north Tyler will be happy to know that the council approved the first step toward that goal. They council approved a $29,972 contract with S&S Roofing for the restoration of the Fun Forest swimming pool facility. 

After a short recess, the council began hearing from members of the community about where the proposed convention center complex should be built in the city. Some argued for placement in North Tyler, as that is where Harvey Convention Center currently is located. Matt Wilson with the Villages of Cumberland Park said that he thinks the convention center hotel should be placed in South Tyler. However, Mayor Martin Heines argued that no one wants to run a full-service restaurant in a hotel in that area due to the excessive competition in that area. 

Sharron Lee, General Manager of Visit Tyler, says that there is a huge demand for a convention center in Tyler. She says that Tyler is getting passed over on business because there isn't an adequate convention center. 

Tom Mullins, President and CEO of the Tyler Chamber of Commerce, says Tyler is way overdue for a larger convention center hotel, as well as a 6,000 to 8,000 seat entertainment venue. 

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