Page 32 - Your Parker County
P. 32

 Willow Park
Population: 4,738 Phone: 817-441-7108 Mayor: Doyle Moss
Council Members:
Norman Hogue Amy Fennell Greg Runnebaum Lea Young
Gary McKaughan
City Administrator:
Bryan Grimes
City Secretary:
Alicia Smith
City Hall:
516 Ranch House Road Willow Park, Texas 76087
Monthly Council Meeting:
7 p.m. second Tuesday of every month, Willow Park Municipal Complex, 516 Ranch House Road, Willow Park, Texas 76087
City Website:
Trash & Recycling: Tuesdays and Fridays
(Call City Hall to establish trash pickup or for service)
Water: city
Electricity: Oncor (Choice of
888-313-6832; Emergency number 888-313-4747
  30 2019
track and surrounding area, which has been abandoned
for nearly 21 years. Developer Kyle Wilks and city leaders have entered into a public/ private partnership for a Tax Increment Reinvestment Zone, and Wilks plans to develop the site into a mix of residential and commercial spaces.
Wilks’ other major project, The Shops at Willow Park, opened in 2017. The Shops features restaurants, cafes, a brewery, tanning and wellness centers, retail stores, and bou- tiques.
In the same area, a medical district is growing with med- ical office buildings planned near the existing Texas Health Resources center and assisted living facilities.
In addition, Willow Park sports a wide variety of shops and restaurants, and more are yet to come as the city contin- ues to plan for the future. City leaders have recently revived Willow Park’s Parks and Recreation Board, as a return to the city’s roots in honoring the natural landscape of east- ern Parker County.
“One of the things you deal with concerning economic development is you have to determine your growth,” said Bryan Grimes, city administra- tor. “In Willow Park, our prop- erty values have skyrocketed in the last five years at 41 percent (home value) growth.
“We have had a 15 percent growth in the last 12 months. Roughly, 10 percent of the growth is because of new homes being constructed. New people moving here has neces- sitated economic development. Since last summer, The Shops of Willow Park have been con- structed. Every retail spot has been leased or will be leased out shortly. We are starting to see massive sales tax improve- ment from that. In fact, our sales tax in May was the single highest collection the city of Willow Park has ever had, and when you compare June of
’17 and June of ’18 it was a 54 percent growth in sales tax. ... the more sales tax we bring in the lower we can keep our tax rate and still accomplish some projects.”
In 2016, voters approved bond funds to build a public safety building that will house the police and fire depart- ments. The new facility will be built about 200 yards south and west of the current facility.
“The current facility is anti- quated and has exceeded its useful life,” Grimes said. “The current facility will be demol- ished, and the long-term plan for that space is to put a new city hall at that spot.”
Willow Park is also the home of two golf courses – Squaw Creek Golf Course and Oeste Ranch Golf Course. Squaw Creek re-opened in the fall of 2016 after a multi-mil-
lion dollar redesign and ren- ovation. The course is host to the acclaimed The First Tee program, which teaches fun- damentals of golf along with character development.
The history of Willow Park begins in the mid-1880s when the area was still prone to attacks from Native American tribes. The oldest grave in the city’s historic cemetery, Willow Springs, belongs to Martha Sherman, who was killed near the Parker and Palo Pinto county line, and was buried there “because there was church nearby.”
The nearby church was “Elm Grove,” which was later named “Willow Springs” after a group of springs near the church and cemetery. Roads were built through the area, most notably the Bankhead Highway, and later, US Highway 180. The residents
of the area built a roadside park with native willow trees and a pond, which stood until 1968 when the construction of Interstate 20 eliminated the park. When the city was incor- porated in 1963, it took the name of the park to honor the area’s history.
“We have a very small-knit community in Willow Park,” Grimes said. “We have a 5,500 population and we are going to get bigger. I would tell some- one looking to move out here that you can grow with the community.
“The other reason this is an attractive place to live is 90 percent of Willow Park is in Aledo ISD, which is one of the premier school districts in the state of Texas – not just athlet- ically, but academically as well. I would tell a family that is considering moving here that their kids will be well educated and they are going to find a community that is open and welcoming.”
- Tony Eierdam
A rendering shows the plan for the new Willow Park Public Safety building, scheduled for completion in 2019.
Your Parker County

   30   31   32   33   34