Park improvements, sewer ordinance approved during Tyler City Council meeting

Includes new skate park, all-inclusive playground equipment at Faulker, Southside parks
Published: Feb. 13, 2019 at 11:45 AM CST
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TYLER, TX (KLTV) - Tyler City Council has signed off on two big upgrades for two Tyler parks, as well as a new ordinance that would make commercial building owners more accountable when it comes to what they pour down the drain and into the city’s water supply.

The city’s utilities department made their final argument to the city council Wednesday morning in support of the FOG ordinance, which stands for Fats, Oils, and Grease. Paul Newhaus, environment compliance engineer with the City of Tyler, has said the ordinance would help the utilities department and maintenance to prevent some “unwanted issues” from time to time.

RELATED: City council to consider fats, grease control program for Tyler commercial buildings

“There’s going to be some education, so people are going to be a little more aware of it,” Neuhaus said during an interview Monday. “There’s going to be some reduced fats, oils, and greases because right now, without having an ordinance, we haven’t really been able to enforce it. Now, we’ll be checking more frequently, which means we’ll be having a more thorough inspection process so we can avoid having some of the issues we have sometimes in the system.”

Details were not discussed concerning whether commercial building owners would be fined for violating the ordinance, but the city council’s agenda stated that the city would “develop a comprehensive FOG control ordinance to provide legal authority to regulate and control the discharge of FOG into the WCTS", which would also include a “permit and enforcement program.”

Tyler City Council also approved the purchasing of new, all-inclusive playground equipment at Southside Park. In October, the city’s Half Cent Sales Tax board authorized $600,000 in funding, $100,000 of which will go toward the re-development of Southside Park located off of Shiloh Road.

RELATED: Tyler City Council set to approve new skate area, all-inclusive equipment at parks

“Southside is getting new sidewalk concrete work, it’s getting all new playground features and we’re looking at all of your special adages for ADA accessible playground equipment,” said Russ Jackson, parks director for the City of Tyler. “We have not had a park to be of that nature in Tyler so that is a unique thing.”

Wednesday’s approval will allow for the equipment to be ordered and be ready for delivery and construction once the sidewalks and site work have been completed. Design and engineering are underway, and projected to finish the first week of March, according the city council’s agenda.

Jackson said the other city parks being re-developed will receive some features for those with disabilities as well, but not as many as Southside Park.

Similar to the approval of Southside Park’s playground equipment, Faulker Park will soon undergo construction to build a new skate park, replacing a previous, deteriorating skate park at Noble E. Young park.

The overall plan, according to the city council’s agenda, is to relocate the skate park from a “Community Park into a Regional Park.” Faulkner Park has the best available space and convenience for public access and safety, Jackson said, and would be more appropriate for the use of space. It would also allow for large public events in the future.

Faulkner Park will cost the city about $200,000 dollars; construction is expected to begin in the weeks following Wednesday’s city council meeting. Jackson has recommended delaying demolition at Noble E. Young until after the second phase is completed in next year’s budget. Any areas that are deemed unsafe, he added, would be demolished before then.

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