CROCKETT, Texas (KTRE) - The City of Crockett continues its efforts to revitalize their town, and city officials say the work is not just about appearances.
It’s a sight and sound many are experiencing across Crockett. Mayor Ianthia Fisher said the city has conducted extension work in phases since 2018.
“The long term is we’re in the process of revitalizing our community,” Fisher said. “With the emphasis of basically starting downtown and spreading abroad.”
“With the event of pulling our sidewalks, we can now gain access to a lot of our water utilities,” City Manager John Angerstein said. “Everything under our city really has to be repaired before we can expect new streets and sidewalks.”
Angerstein said the project is not just about looks, but also infrastructure.
The current phase replaces sidewalks and utilities underneath, like water and sewer, for two blocks of the square. Work, he said, the city completed in 2020 down East Houston and Goliad avenues.
“We haven’t had major repairs done in years,” Angerstein said. “We’re installing water valves, bringing everything up to code, putting in fire hydrants.
He said the sidewalk projects are funded through grants from the United States Department of Agriculture’s Community Development Block Grant Program for Rural Texas.
For the current phase, Angerstein said the grant cover $375,000, and the city expended $50,000 of budgeted funds for matches, meaning no additional costs to taxpayers.
“We’re putting our money in to matches as well as coordinating our other efforts around the grant funds, which is all the new hydrants that you see us install, that wasn’t paid for by grant funds, but we wouldn’t have been able to do it if we weren’t putting in new sidewalks,” he said. “It’s really a blessing to get all of that done in one whack, that way we don’t have to worry about coming under these sidewalks for as long as we’re around here for sure.”
He said in this current phase the city is also creating a 30-space parking lot in front of City Hall.
“Which is a big issue for our downtown businesses, we need more parking,” Angerstein said. “As you can tell, we have plenty of traffic. They just don’t have a place to stop and spend money. So that’s what we’re working on.”
Business owner Joni Clonts said she is excited about the changes.
“It’s going to be an asset and absolutely wonderful for the City of Crockett,” she said.
Also happening in the city limits, officials say construction the southwest loop near Crockett ISD is part of a TxDOT project.
“Just this last week, we’ve completed two city street projects ourselves,” Angerstein said. “We’re doing our own street projects coordinating with those TxDOT projects.”
“I’m excited how people have chipped in,” Fisher said.” If you even look into the older buildings that not even directly tied into the construction, you’ll see people are doing some touch up work. We’re looking at a long-range project, talking a couple of years. But the beautiful part of it is each one is done so you’ll be able to see independently what’s happening at the time.”
City officials say they have additional grant funds on the way in the next two years to replace East Goliad and East Houston Avenues in Crockett, which is why they say it is important to repair utilities underneath sidewalks first.