The Williamson County disc golf course is one step closer to reopening.
Williamson County commissioners voted July 10 to approve $78,173 for equipment that will clear dead trees from the course at Southwest Regional Park in Leander. The course has been closed since April 17, when commissioners voted to close it for six months because of safety concerns created by trees that died from drought conditions.
"We wanted to make the park a safe place to be, and clean up the trees," said Randy Bell, Williamson County Parks and Recreation director.
Bell said the money will be used by the Parks and Recreation Department to buy equipment such as a skid-steer loader/excavator with a forestry cutter attachment, a machine used to remove heavy brush and trees. In addition, the department will purchase a stump grinder assembly attachment for the loader/excavator as well as chainsaws and safety equipment.
Bell said the department considered contracting the work but opted instead to purchase the necessary supplies.
"We sought some commercial bids from people we worked with in the past," Bell said. "Then we thought about doing a proposal to purchase the equipment on our own. The benefit of that is we will have that equipment to use permanently."
In addition, commissioners approved $8,000 in funding for the Parks and Recreation Department to hire two temporary workers at $10 per hour for 10 weeks of employment. Bell said one full-time employee already on the department's staff would be utilized for the duration of the project. The part-time workers would clear brush and perform other duties but not operate heavy machinery, he said.
Work on the project is not expected to start until purchase and delivery of the approved items, which could take another 30–40 days, he said. While he was not able to estimate how long cleanup would take, Bell said workers could begin preliminary cleanup soon.
The 18-hole course opened in 2006 at 3005 CR 175.
A list of additional county parks is available at https://parks.wilco.org. For more information, call 943-1920.