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The Boyce Memorial ‘Little League’ Park.

DONNA, RGV – Renovations to two parks in Donna are being made without impacting the property taxes of local residents.

The Boyce Memorial ‘Little League’ Park and Altas Palmas Sports Complex are currently closed and undergoing a major makeover. They are due to re-open in March 2017.

Donna Interim City Manager Ernesto Silva said local residents can expect to have regular use of the parks just in time for baseball season.

“Since the improvements are being paid from a park grant and sales taxes, the improvements will not have any impact on Donna residents’ property taxes,” said Donna Interim City Mayor Ernesto Silva. “It’s a great deal for the citizens of Donna, they will be getting new improvements to the City parks and their property taxes aren’t being increased to pay for them.”

Improvements to the parks are being funded by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department and the City’s 4B Economic Development Corporation. Silva told the Rio Grande Guardian that the City of Donna received a $56,000 grant from the State of Texas. He said the City was required to match the State’s investment. However, Silva said, the City decided to allocate not $56,000 but $185,000. City leaders pumped in extra dollars in order to produce state-of-the-art facilities. The total cost of the project will be $241,000.

The park improvements were designed by ROFA Architects of McAllen and work is being undertaken by G&G Contractors of Edinburg.

“The parks in our community are in need of a major facelift,” Silva acknowledged. “We are grateful to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department for providing our community with a $56,000 grant and for the 4B Economic Development Committee allocating $185,000 to undertake the major renovations. It has been over 25 years since any major renovations had been undertaken at these two parks and current renovations being undertaken at this time are only a portion of future improvements that are to be made.”

Silva said the park renovations will include new bleachers, nylon bleacher shades, nylon dugout shades, improvements to the concession stands, several new scoreboards, sidewalks, and handicap seating.

Improvements will be made to the restrooms and water fountains to meet the requirements of the Americans with Disability Act. Both parks will be handicap accessible and will also include widened sidewalks and ramps for wheelchairs.

The baseball fields will also have new fencing installed in certain areas and upgrades will be made to the scorekeeper boxes and dugouts.

At the Boyce Memorial ‘Little League’ Park, the current brick bleachers will be replaced with aluminum bleachers.

Mike Mesa is project manager. Mesa said all overhead electrical lines at Boyce Memorial Park will be relocated underground which will enable the local Little League Baseball Organization to host their inter-city tournaments.

Donna Economic Development Director Lyle Garza said: “The Mayor and City Council take pride in ensuring residents that efforts are being made to improve quality of life for its citizens. This is the first phase of a multi-year plan to improve the City’s park system which will include renovations to the City’s youth recreation center, construction of an indoor multi-use sports facility, and the expansions of Altas Palmas park which will include soccer fields, tennis courts, and a jogging trail.”