(Seguin) -- Guadalupe County has officially made a donation in hopes of improving the lives of families in the city of Seguin.
The Guadalupe County Commissioners Court has approved a special warranty deed which turns over county property to the city for use as part of its future Walnut Creek hike and bike trail. Commissioner Kyle Kutscher says the city last month requested that the county consider donating some of its property near the Juan Seguin campus.
"The land that the county donated to the city is located adjacent to the Juan Seguin School that is on the north east side of the extension which will be the hike and bike trail. It's a little bit awkward in the layout and set up but this Juan Seguin site is located right there, one lot, the next lot just north of that's owned by the county. North of that lot, the city owns a portion, beyond that the county owns the remaining acreage. We thought it was a benefit with the city moving forward on the expansion of the hike and bike trail. There were talks between the city and the county on future expansions of a recreation area, play fields and park. It was a perfect opportunity for the county to step up and partner with the city and say let's have a positive impact on the community for a long time and use that property in the most beneficial way," said Kutscher.
Kutscher says this week's action solidifies the county's decision to donate all of the areas suggested as part of the project.
"We initially talked with the city. There were two options. We can give just a small portion along the creek for the expansion of the hike and bike trail and then come back at a future time and talk about the donation of the remaining acreage for the recreational area, park and play fields. I think the entire court agreed and saw it fit to donate all at the same time so, it was a single transaction. As you talked about, there are some considerations within that deed and the transition and the transaction from the county to the city that require the city to use that as a park and recreation area for no other use. It can't be developed, sold off later on -- it has to be used for that specific use, for the public and a recreational area," said Kutscher.
City Engineer Joe Ramos says the city is grateful to the county for its donation. He says the additional acreage will indeed help the city in its master plan for future park space.
"Well originally when we were looking at that property, we were looking to apply about a 20 foot right away through the property. We were under the impression that it was school district property. So as we went through, doing our research, we discovered it was actually three separate properties -- two of which were owned by the county and not by the school district. I don't know if you recall, we had an original master plan for Walnut Creek that had designated that property as a future type amenity property. So what we decided to do is request that the county donate the two parcels that they own to not just to the hike and bike trail but to the overall intended use as part of the master plan. So the idea is to roll in and locate the hike and bike trail through there and the remainder of the property be utilized as some kind of an open field, golf field type amenity as was identified by the citizens initially with the master plan," said Ramos.
Ramos says because the specified property is already restricted as to what can be developed there, he believes it made it easier for the county to make the donation to the city.
"I don't know if you're aware, but a significant amount of that property was a landfill at one time. So it's rather restricted on what you can do with it. My idea is to bring some soil and level it out, plant some grass and have it used as a park possibility,"said Ramos.
Ramos says the hike and bike trail will officially begin construction in August. He says the trail will run from New Braunfels Street ending just behind St. James Catholic Church located at 510 S. Camp St.