Mineral Wells Area News

Search is on for Consultants to Develop City Parks Master Plan

Search is on for Consultants to Develop City Parks Master Plan
February 03
20:16 2022

By Ann Powers

It’s been 26 years since Mineral Wells completed a Parks and Open Spaces Master Plan, and city council members agree it’s high time someone did a new one. 

During its Feb. 1 meeting, the seven-member council unanimously granted Parks & Recreation Superintendent Andy Tarkington’s petition to send out a Request for Qualifications (RFQ) in finding a consulting firm to develop a master plan for the city’s parks. Those properties include Fossil Park, Lions Park, Southeast Park, West City Park and Zappe Park.

The Parks & Recreation Department also oversees a recreation center, community building, gym, outdoor pools, tennis courts, basketball courts, softball fields and other amenities.

Prospective consultants will consider the Mineral Wells Aquatic Center, and other recreational amenities, in their bids for the Parks and Open Spaces Master Plan contract. Photo courtesy of the Mineral Well Parks & Recreation Department

The RFQ process solicits proposals from professionals bidding for the city’s Parks and Open Spaces Master Plan contract. 

“I think this is very important that we get this done,” Tarkington said in a phone interview with the Mineral Wells Area News.  “Twenty-six years is an unusually long time. They’re usually done every 8-to-10 years. This will give us a roadmap on how to proceed from here on in developing our parks.” 

The Parks and Open Space Master Plan is necessary for Mineral Wells to score competitively for funding through the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department’s grant program, Tarkington added. 

Councilman Brian Shoemaker emphasized the approved request is only to search for consultants who will ultimately develop the blueprint for the future of the city’s parks and recreational amenities. 

“This isn’t the plan,” Shoemaker said at the Feb. 1 council meeting. “This is just selecting that qualified professional to carry out our plan, and do the community meetings and a lot of the different things, for the overall plan for the parks in the town.”

The search is underway for a firm to review the needs of Fossil Park, and four other city parks, as part of the Mineral Wells Parks and Open Spaces Master Plan. Photo courtesy of the Mineral Well Parks & Recreation Department

A city committee and the Parks and Recreation Department Advisory Board will review the bids. Evaluations will be on a 100-point scale based on professional experience, project approach and experience with parks and recreation master plans. 

Tarkington said officials will negotiate payment with the chosen firm to complete a plan that will be used as a guide in park investing and development for the next ten years. It will also be part of the Mineral WellsComprehensive Plan. 

J.T. Dunkin & Associates, Inc. developed the last Parks and Open Spaces Master Plan for Mineral Wells in1996.  

City officials are reviewing the current RFQ’s final version before releasing it. The Mineral Wells Area News will publish the RFQ once that is done.