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Steve Garner announces he will step down as Lake Wichita Revitalization Chair

WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) - It was business as usual Tuesday morning at the Lake Wichita Revitalization Committee meeting, until a surprise announcement was made.

After serving as chairman of the Lake Wichita Revitalization Committee for more than five years, Steve Garner stepped down Tuesday, citing changes in his life. But he's not quitting the committee; instead, he'll focus his efforts on marketing and fundraising.

"I'm still going to be out in the public. I'll still be telling everybody that the Lake Wichita project is something that everybody can benefit from," Garner said.

Before the committee came to be, Garner joined the Wichita Falls park board, since he's always had a love for Lake Wichita. Following years of nothing being done at the lake, he and other park board members approached the city for help.

"And so the city agreed to meet with us. We had a really nice meeting in December 2012," pointed out Garner. "In May of 2013, the city chartered the Lake Wichita Study Committee and gave them 18 months to put together a plan for Lake Wichita."
As Garner's tenure as chairman comes to a close, three concepts are now in the design phase: the 200 foot boardwalk, a four-lane boat ramp, as well as the Veterans Memorial Plaza.
At Tuesday's meeting, it was suggested to create sub-committees for the next phase of projects.
But the city manager's office says they should focus first on funding the projects already on the books.

"I think there's a lot of support for the project as long as there's private funds that are put toward the project; but public funds, there's a little less support," Jim Dockery said.

And though a proposition to help fund Lake Wichita projects failed in the May bond election, one committee member says they learned a great deal from the results.

The bond really provided a lot of great feedback so we can stay on the straight and narrow and do what the community wants done with the lake," said ex-officio committee member Tom Lang.

And with Garner in his new role, Lang and other members believe the Lake Wichita Project will continue to stay afloat: all in hopes of bringing the lake back as a local hotspot, as it once was.

Also at Tuesday's meeting, members were updated on potential completion dates of all projects a

Grant award is $499,536 of State funding with 50/50 match.  

Local match is $499,536.  Anticipated project cost about $1,140,340.  

Target project schedule:
Final design for Boardwalk by Feb 2019
Bid boardwalk by April 2019  
Boardwalk construction complete by March 2020

Kemp Street Boat Ramp
Grant award is $499,680 of Federal funding with 75/25% match.  Local match is $166,560.  Anticipated project costing about $1,211,240. 

Veteran’s Memorial Plaza
100% local funding

Target project schedule:
Final design for Kemp Boat Ramp and Veteran’s Memorial Plaza by Oct 2019
Bid Boat Ramp and Plaza by Dec 2019
Boat Ramp and Plaza construction complete by Dec 2020

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