Groups eye ways to use grant to beautify areas

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Local officials hope to use a grant the Denton County Transportation Authority received to beautify areas of Southeast Denton near the A-train tracks and the planned bus and maintenance facility.

When the transit agency received a $750,000 grant from the Texas Department of Transportation for a community enhancement project, discussions with the city on how to spend that grant turned the focus toward the Southeast Denton area.

“DCTA is trying to be a good neighbor to this community moving forward with the A-train and bus maintenance and operation facility,” said DCTA spokeswoman Dee Leggett. “So we wanted to give back to the community in a way that would benefit the Southeast Denton area, but also users of the [hike and bike] trail that would be entering into the area and downtown.”

Some of the improvements to the area will include additional security fencing in some areas, landscape improvements and trees to provide shade along the trail, among other things, Leggett said.

In addition, a committee formed by Denton’s Historic Landmark Commission has been working on historical markers for the trail to note some of the key points in the city’s history. Some of those include the history of Quakertown as well as Fred Moore and his contributions to the community.

“In the last couple months, we have been meeting with them to see how we can integrate these historical markers,” Leggett said.

She said an idea was to place the markers at the entrances to the trail to help freshen up the visual transition from the trail to the community.

DCTA has been meeting with representatives from the Southeast Denton Neighborhood Association on these changes to get feedback and ideas as the project continues to evolve.

The project must receive environmental clearance from TxDOT, and DCTA must work with the city on addressing issues such as the location of utility lines and what types of trees can be planted.

“There are some areas where we’re proposing some fencing where we have to work with some private property owners,” Leggett said.

Denton City Council member Kevin Roden, who has been working with DCTA and the historical commission on the project, said the transit agency has brought a lot of change to the area and he has seen opinions on those efforts become more positive in recent weeks.

More people are using the trail to hike and bike, he said.

“We’re starting to see there are certain aspects that are beneficial. And I think it’s very important we try to add to the natural beauty that was taken away,” he said. “That is DCTA’s goal, and we’re trying to find out where DCTA wants to put that effort.”

BJ LEWIS can be reached at 940-566-6875. His e-mail address is blewis@dentonrc.com .

 


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