Red Oak voters will go to the polls Saturday to decide a $17.255 million bond proposition that if approved will fund a new community park. The proposition calls for constructing the park on 69 acres of city-owned property on Farm-to-Market 664/Ovilla Road between the Cowboy Church and Batcher Road. Initial plans include the construction of:

• 6-8 lighted baseball/softball fields

• 2-3 soccer fields

• 1 athletic practice/scrimmage area

• 1 amphitheater

• playground area and pavilions

• a pond

• a picnic area along the creek

• hiking trails

• restroom and concessions

If approved, non-senior homestead residents would see a tax impact of approximately 8.5-cents per $100 assessed value, or, taxes for a home assessed at $150,000 would increase by $127.50 per year beginning in 2017.

We strongly support the passage of the bond proposition in Red Oak’s municipal election Saturday. Red Oak is growing in all economic sectors — retail, industrial and perhaps the most important sector, housing. We applaud the Red Oak City Council for its leadership and vision to manage this growth in a positive, constructive manner to ensure the city’s long-term economic viability as well as enhance the quality of life for its citizens. The city is booming. It has a great public education system and is also home to the Texas State Technical College North Texas campus. It seems like new retail/service businesses are opening businesses on a weekly basis — and the sales taxes being generated by these new businesses is helping the city provide services while keeping the burden off of property owners.

While great things are happening in Red Oak, recreational opportunities for the city’s residents are sorely lacking. Approving the parks bond proposition will go a long way toward providing the amenities not only needed, but in high demand by city residents.

Ellis County is still in the early stages of growth created in large part from southern migration of the Metroplex. While all cities in our county are experiencing the impact, Red Oak is on the front line. Learning from the lessons of our neighbors in southern Dallas County, proactive cities that plan and manage growth thrive and excel.

We are thankful for the leadership and vision of the Red Oak Council and their willingness to guide the city of Red Oak into the future — and especially on their insistence to keep Red Oak a city its residents will long continue to be proud to live, work and raise their children.