For better, more complete coverage of the City of Austin and the region, This story has been changed since publication to correct Council Member Jimmy Flannigan’s quote. 1 recommendation for Walter E. Long Metropolitan Park from neighbors. Kimberly McNeeley, director of Parks and Recreation, explained several times that it would be years before the entire plan would be implemented. We hope you will take part in this fun event and imagine Walter E Long’s future with us. Council Member Jimmy Flannigan called the plan “Six Flags over Decker,” adding, “There’s a fine line between a vision and a hallucination.” He concluded, “Under no circumstances can I vote for it this week.” Flannigan said he was not even sure this park was the best place to spend the $3.5 million PARD had already set aside. While Council members praised the work done by the parks department and its consultants, several expressed concern about what is projected eventually to be an $800 million price tag for the far Northeast Austin park. Tovo and Alter were particularly interested in the idea of allowing people to camp in the park, with Tovo noting that camping has become much more popular during the pandemic. Walter E. Long Metropolitan Park Master Plan Open House, Communications & Engagement Unit Austin Parks. Take the worry out of home hunting with seven neighborhoods worth checking out this year. Sign up to know what's going on in your neighborhood. Parks department approves 3,700-acre overhaul. Her two competitors, David Chincanchan and Casey Ramos,…, District 6 is primed for a runoff between incumbent Jimmy Flannigan, who won just over 40 percent of the vote, and challenger Mackenzie Kelly, who earned just over 33 percent. Hi there everyone. It includes the 1,200-acre Lake Walter E. Long, which was created to be a provide water for turbines at a power plant in the area. Where funding for the projects will come from hasn’t been determined, but the presentation to the department proposed that $394 million (48%) of the project be privately funded, with the other $422 million (52%) coming from the city. Some of the existing facilities in the park include hike and bike trails, picnic areas, volleyball courts, boat ramps, and fishing piers. A skeet shooting range and model airplane area are also operated by organizations within the park. Please join the City of Austin Parks and Recreation Department the evening of June 6th from 6 to 8 pm at Decker Middle School, 8104 Decker Lane, Austin 78724 for a very important meeting to help formulate ideas for recreation activities and their locations in Walter E Long (Decker Lake) Metropolitan Park. Enter a search term below to search the Austin Monitor. Until 2012, the body contained seven members, including the city's Mayor, all elected at-large. The park also includes approximately 765 acres of preserved habitats and the Travis County Expo Center grounds. There are so many important stories we don't get to write. Assisted by water pumped from the Colorado River, the lake’s alteration of the landscape was dramatic and swift: The first phase of the plan is expected to cost $144 million. Do your part by joining our subscribers in supporting our reporters' work. Walter E. Long Park plan, all $800 million of it, gets parks board approval With an eventual price tag expected to exceed $800 million and a timeline likely stretching more than two decades, members of Austin’s Parks and Recreation Board unanimously voted to approve a new master plan for East Austin’s Walter E. Long Park. We searched the city to find the best family-friendly activities in Austin, from miniature trains to top-notch museums. Austin City Council: The Austin City Council is the body with legislative purview over the City of Austin. Since the area is largely undeveloped, the master plan is meant to be a blueprint for the park’s potential. It includes the 1,200-acre Lake Walter E. Long, which was created to be a provide water for turbines at a power plant in the area. City of Austin Parks and Recreation Department, Flannigan and Kelly to face off in December. The park sits in Council Member Natasha Harper-Madison’s District 1, but she was having technical difficulties with the internet during the Zoom meeting and encouraged Flannigan to ask his questions first. The Austin Parks and Recreation Department (PARD) is hosting an open house for the Walter E. Long Park Master Plan on Wednesday, June 6, 2018 from 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm at Decker Middle School, located at 8104 Decker Lane, Austin, TX 78724. Parks and Recreation Department representative Greg Montes and consultant Tim Bargainer with Dallas’ Halff Associates (consultant on the plan) pointed out that plans could be broken into small projects funded through different sources and partnerships with local nonprofit and recreation groups, according to the Monitor. Five days a week, we bring you the news. The Mayor continues to be elected at-large. McNeeley said, “We could withdraw and come back after we’ve been able to answer questions. It offers policy direction, while the office of the City Manager implements administrative actions based on those policies. The item will likely be withdrawn from Thursday’s Council agenda. The property includes 3,695 acres of parkland and the 1,165 acre Lake Walter E. Long. We strive to get it right and be fair to all; when we err we correct it fast. When he was done, she told him, “You asked literally all of my questions.” While she praised the effort that went into the planning, Harper-Madison said she was not ready to vote on the plans either. Austin Monitor is owned by the Capital of Texas Media Foundation, which purchased the publication on Oct. 4, 2013. Your input is very important in establishing the arrangement of uses in the park, and will help guide the next step in the master planning process, which is the development of a preliminary concept plan. Despite the fact that the vision plan for the nearly 3,700-acre Walter E. Long Park has been in the works for years and has won approval from both the Parks and Recreation Board and the Environmental Commission, a majority of City Council members expressed reluctance to move forward on the plan at Tuesday’s work session. click here. In 2012, City of Austin residents voted to change that system and now 10 members of the Council are elected based on geographic districts. … Our biggest concern is just being able to deliver anything to the public” after spending so much effort gathering public input. Walter E. Long Metropolitan Park is a regional park located in east Austin, situated just west of State Highway 130. An ambitious master plan to transform 3,700 acres of public land in East Austin was approved unanimously by the Austin’s Parks and Recreation board at last week’s meeting, the Austin Monitor reported Monday. The department hopes to work with city councilmembers and staff on funding options and other specifics needed to carry out the plan. McNeeley also reminded Council that Walter E. Long is seven times the size of Zilker Park, “and it took us a number of decades to develop Zilker Park.”. According to a June 11 Towers story by James Rambin, the parks and rec department presented plans that could include such diverse components as protected natural areas, recreation areas, a cultural arts center, a boardwalk, hiking and equestrian trails, a sculpture garden, a ropes course, disc golf, an amphitheater, rentable cabins, and an event lawn. City of Austin Parks and Recreation Department: The city department responsible for the city's park system, rec centers, and associated infrastructure. All rights reserved. Local and state rowing clubs and other boating types are also in the potential-ask mix. For additional information on the Walter E. Long Master Plan, please visit the project webpage at To post your recommendation, please sign in or join your neighborhood on Nextdoor. Though our reporting covers donors from time to time, we are careful to keep business and editorial efforts separate while maintaining transparency. Lake Walter E. Long, also known as Decker Lake, has kicked it in Ora Houston’s Council District 1 since its birth in 1967, when Decker Creek was dammed to create a cooling reservoir for a power plant. The plan for Walter E. Long Park would be carried out in five phases and would likely take more than 20 years to complete, at total cost of more than $800 million. As a nonprofit journalism source, every contributed dollar helps us provide you more coverage. © Copyright 2020 Austin Monitor. This park is the City’s LARGEST PARK. Lake Walter E. Long (also known as Decker Lake) is a power plant cooling reservoir on Decker Creek in Austin, Texas.The reservoir was officially impounded in 1967 and serves to provide water for turbines used in the production of electricity from petroleum-based fuels.The dam and the lake are managed by the City of Austin.