City officials received notice this week that Texas Parks and Wildlife did not award a matching grant for the Pump Track Paris, Texas project. The Project began mid-way through 2018 as a way to enhance Paris’ reputation as a bicycle destination. The pump track was planned to be one of the largest asphalt pump tracks in the country and was a collaborative effort between the City of Paris, The Chamber of Commerce, the Visitor and Convention Council, Several Service Clubs and almost 100 local Donors. Organizers garnered pledges totaling $344,000 to make Pump Track Paris, Texas a reality.
It was hoped the Texas Parks and Wildlife trail enhancement grant would match the pledged amount for a total of $688,000. “We are disappointed that we did not score high enough for the grant, however we are hearing people express excitement and desire from the community and our donors to see this happen,” said Casey Ressler, One of the lead advocates for the pump track.
Organizers and supporters of the project met on Friday to discuss the viability of raising additional funds to bring the pump track to fruition. Discussions with Velosolutions, the designer and builder of the pump track yielded savings that left $116,000 in additional private funds for the project to continue. Some of the amenities such as shade sails, picnic tables and water fountains would have to be removed from the scope of the project but the design of the track itself would remain unchanged.
Velosolutions has continued to keep Paris as a possibility for a Red Bull Pumptrack Qualifier or potentially as a site for the Red Bull Pumptrack World Championships due to the unique track design and potential community involvement.
Velosolutions really likes our track design and knows it would be a great track to race on,” Added Ressler
While reapplying next year for the TPW grant remains an option, organizers met to discuss possibilities of keeping this project alive.
“Another $116,000 is a lot of money but the community surprised us last summer with their enthusiasm and generosity. So far I have received positive and encouraging feedback concerning the viability to raise this money in light of the grant decision.” Said Ressler.
Texas Parks and Wildlife has also not released detailed scoring yet, once that is received by the city we can review and see if there are ways to improve our score.