AUSTIN -- Austin City Council members approved $10.8 million Thursday to tear down the Holly Street Power Plant.
Seven million will come from Austin Energy's budget. The rest pays for asbestos removal that has delayed that project. When the plant is gone, Austin will have nine new acres of parkland along Lady Bird Lake.
Close to 9,000 tons of metal have been removed from the Holly Street Power Plant so far, that according to Austin Energy. The dismantling effort is six months behind because of asbestos removal.
But what's left behind could be part of something big and beautiful.
"Being a fisher person, I am very excited that they are leaving the cement grids in the lagoon at the Holly Power Plant so that we have some fishing decks," said East Austin resident Lori C. Renteria.
Excitement over the Holly Shores Project made for a packed house this week at this East Austin Middle School. It hasn't always been easy deciding what to do with the 90 acres of river front property along Lady Bird Lake between I-35 and Pleasant Valley.
"I for sure don't want a dog park. We already have a dog park," said East Austin resident Louis Castillo. "I'm in to fishing so I don't mind the fishing but I want it to be a friendly neighborhood for everybody."
"The community has kind of had a different perspective. They don't want a lot of new development because there isn't sufficient parking over here. What they'd like to see is repairs to lots of things. The swimming pool, the trails, the gateway," PODER Director Susana Almanza said.
The draft master plan for Holly Shores is not set in stone. Tentative plans include easier access to the water.
"That's going to open up a range of opportunities for recreation that weren't there before, not to mention providing a missing link of trail connectivity along the northern shore of Lady Bird Lake,"
said Chris Yanez from Austin's Parks and Recreation Department.
The final master plan still needs approval from a number of boards and commissions before the council votes on it.
Austin City Council could vote on the final master plan for the new Holly Street Park as soon as this summer.