San Marcos puts parkland purchase to voters
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Forrest Six is a Texas State University student. When he's through with classes he likes to escape to the San Marcos River.
The City of San Marcos wants to know if voters are interested in spending millions of public dollars to buy more land for riverfront parks.
"It's just a great place to take a break from school to be honest. School starts stressing you out and what's not to love about this place? It's just getting touch with nature," Six said.
Six has been fishing since he was a child, and after moving to San Marcos, he discovered the river. Some of his favorite new fishing spots are downstream from one riverfront property which was pegged to be developed into student housing. Now, that same land may be purchased by the city if voters approve a measure in November.
If passed, the measure would authorize the city to buy the 70 acres for fair market value, or $5.5 million. It could lead to the creation of a network of parks and trails along the river.
Fishermen say more parkland would mean more room for everyone.
"It wouldn't be all crowded, just at the places that are open currently and more place for people to go so, it just seems like the best choice," Fisherman Chris Kowaleski said.
"On the weekends, the parks get really crowded, but it makes it really difficult for everyone to get their own enjoyment out of it. Buying more land to make more parks would definitely ease that up," Six said.
Supporters say if the land is left to developers rather than to parks, the green space could disappear forever and that's something no amount of money could replace.
Come November, voters will also decide if the city should use eminent domain to obtain the property and if they would support a property tax increase to pay for the additional park land.