Dana Peak Park – Questions and Answers
1. What type of commercial vendors does the City foresee?
The City of Harker Heights would look to add concessionaires that would offer programs such as; kayak, canoe, paddle boarding rentals, fishing supplies, and snacks. It is not in the current plans to construct any permanent concession, restaurant, or other facility to accommodate commercial needs.
2. Will athletic fields be constructed at the park?
3. Are there plans for a concert series?
Events may take place that will occasionally incorporate live music. However, this will be done infrequently and with the intention of retaining Dana Peak Park’s passive atmosphere for users.
4. Will hotels or motels be built on the property?
5. Will our view of the lake be impeded?
The City of Harker Heights has no desire to promote any proposed development of the park that will impede the view of the lake from private properties.
6. Concerned about increased traffic on Comanche Gap and within our “Ridge” neighborhood.
There will be an increase in traffic flow to the park during weekends, holidays, and what is currently considered the park’s “offseason”, as the park will remain open all year. Traffic increases will be in relationship to park user increases, which is a benefit to both the user and the City. There is no anticipated traffic increase through the “Ridge” neighborhood.
7. Disruption of wildlife at the park – will run them off and into the neighborhoods.
The City of Harker Heights does not anticipate additional disruptions to the wildlife within the park.
8. Who is responsible for the repairs when the park floods?
From our understanding, the responsibility will be on the City but that is yet to be determined as the lease agreement has not been formalized nor approved by the Corps of Engineers or the City Council. Park infrastructure is built to withstand flood events but damages can and will occur. Most of the work involved after the flood event is debris clean up. Depending on the lease, this would be conducted by City staff and volunteer groups.
9. There will be an increase of litter and noise. How will the City handle that additional workload?
The City will have full time employees working on maintenance of the park. Currently, the Corps of Engineer contracts those services out and those services are not conducted every day.
The City’s Code of Ordinances will cover any noise nuisances. No additional noise is expected outside of the special events.
10. Will there ever be a traffic light at the intersection of Comanche Gap Rd and 2410?
At this point there are no plans nor funds budgeted at this Texas Department of Transportation (TXDOT) intersection.
11. Will there be a lower fee for Harker Heights residents?
Staff’s proposal is to include discounts for Harker Heights residents for the City Council to consider on entry fees, pavilion rentals, and campsite rentals. These fees will be discussed and approved once the lease is obtained.
12. What happens to the yearly or lifetime Corps of Engineer passes already purchased? Will we be able to get into the park with them?
A staff suggestion would be to allow those current passes to be grandfathered for a period of time. The duration of time is still yet to be determined. For example, 6 months to 1 year.
13. What type of large events does the City envision at Dana Peak Park?
Dana Peak Park will be a perfect host for occasional events hosted by the City and our partners. The City will allow large scale events at the park; such as,
- Food, Wine & Brew Festival (Chamber of Commerce)
- Movie events
- Music events
- Frost Fest
- Easter Egg Hunt
- Fun Runs
14. Will there be a zip line at the park?
While a zip line was mentioned by a citizen, there are no plans to install one.
15. What type of different programming does the City envision?
The Parks and Recreation Department is always looking to improve events and programming offered to the community. Among the programs that can be offered or improved upon leasing Dana Peak Park are:
• Camping Program
• Archery Programs (temporary)
• Trail Runs/Bike Races
• Guided Hikes
• Movie Nights on the Beach
• Interpretive programs and educational signage
• Trail Maintenance Days
16. Not enough parking for events. Will overflow parking be on the grass? (Food source for wildlife)
Grass overflow parking will be used in larger events. There will be discussion on rock or base material being added within strategic areas of the park to identify parking as well. Currently, the design was set up by the Corps of Engineers to allow those large grass areas to be overflow parking.
17. What is the financial forecast anticipated with overtaking this park property?
Based on numbers provided by Corps of Engineers, park visitation is expected to generate enough revenues to cover its expenses and build reserves for flood mitigation and/or park improvements.
18. What is the issue that we are trying to solve by overtaking Dana Peak Park?
In 2017, the City of Harker Heights conducted a focus group called “Exploring New Heights.” Information was collected through surveys and meetings with service organizations and citizens throughout our city. Dana Peak Park was frequently mentioned by participants during this discussion.
The US Army Corps of Engineers maintains that their primary purpose is “Flood Damage Reduction,” which means that their budgets for Recreational purposes are very small, and getting smaller. Because of this, Dana Peak Park is only open from March to September, and does not offer amenities comparable to other city-run parks or state parks. The City of Harker Heights would keep the park open year-round, and work to increase the quality of life afforded to residents by improving the amenities, programs, and events at the park.
Contact Information for Additional Questions:
Jerry Bark, Public Relations Director