Lakecaster Online

Editor's Notepad
By Ed Snyder

New Facility Planned For Rayburn By Ed Snyder/Lakecaster

Lake Sam Rayburn Pavillion Association -(for)- "Rayburn Meadows"
December 14, 1999, Sam Rayburn, Lake Sam Rayburn, TX.

"This new facility will be located on the southern shores of Lake Sam Rayburn within a 16 acre tract of land situated between the Jasper County public boat launch ramps and the Crystal Beach swimming area, announced Don Collins, Commitee Director for the newly formed Sam Rayburn Business Association. "It will have a paved road system with a 100 foot by 60 foot rectangular concrete pad with a 60 foot by 30 foot open sided recreational building, and a maintianence building with men's & women's restrooms, Don continued to inform, adding that this new park will be a multiple events facility which will be open to all activities, which includes fishing tournaments.

"This new park really got it start just a few months ago, informed U.S Army Colonel (Retired) Billy E. Marshall, resident, project coordinator, and Commitee Chairman, for the Lake Sam Rayburn Pavillion Association, "we were just sitting around talking one morning over coffee discussing our lake area and trying to solve its problems, "when, Mr Marshall advised, "we decided to look into the feasibility of getting a new facility built down here on the south end of the lake. "After further discussion, Bill Marshall informed, "we met with the Army Corps of Engineers at their Rayburn office where they informed and educated us towards the proper channels for such a project. "After making the proper contacts, we immediatley set our goals for what was needed, Bill further informed, by drawing up a project plan for the new facility.

MISSION: To establish a limited recreation area, for general public use, on land designated by the Sam Rayburn Corp of Engineers for that purpose.

ASSUMPTIONS: That the land noted in the mission statement can be obtained by Jasper County on a long term lease basis. That the lease provided by the Corps of Engineers will be leased free for an extended period, or for an absolute minimum percentage of the gross income ranging from 1 to 2 %. Donations and Grants are not to be considered as income.

COORDINATIONS: During the feasibility phase of this report contact was made either by meetings or telephonic communications. The following are the offices contacted by the Lake Rayburn Park Association (Association) for assistance.
(A)- Sam Rayburn Corp of Engineers, Jasper County.
(B)- Staff of Corp of Engineers, Fort Worth, Texas.
(C)- Competitive Logistics, Atlanta, Georgia.
(D)- Hunter & Hunter, Marshall, Texas.
(E)- Texas A & M, College Station, Texas.
(F)- Office of Representative Turner, Washington, DC.
(G)- Texas Oilmen, Houston, Texas.
(H)- Texas Historical Society, Austin, Texas.
(I)- Rayburn Oilmen Classic, Inc. Lafayette, Louisiana.

SITUATION: Adequate facilities do not exist on the south end of the Lake to accommodate the large crowds that attend the many events that occur every year on Lake Sam Rayburn. This shortcoming results in the rescheduling of events to locations and lakes that have the required accommodations. This minimizes the number of income producing events that can be scheduled and restricts marketing to the limited facilities that are currently available. It is obvious that we are not exploiting the full financial potential of the County's share of the lake. This limiting factor, which is extreme, must be corrected if we are to enhance revenues for the lake area and the County.

PROPOSAL: The Association has concluded that the land, noted in the mission statement, be leased by Jasper County and then subleased to the Rayburn Park Association Inc. for extended periods. With this organization, the Association will be able to legally accept assistance in kind, large donations, grants, and fees for maintanence and operations. The Park will be developed in phases as funds and services in kind become available, therefore, the phases may not come in chronological order as listed below.

PHASE 1: Corp of Engineers removes and sells on-site timber.
PHASE 2: Corp of Engineers outlines designated area for use by the Association.
PHASE 3: Texas and Louisiana Oilmen will clear designated area of stumps and debris.
PHASE 4: Preparation of grounds will consist of discing and raking of the area several times prior to grass planting.
PHASE 5: The building of roads and parking lot will commence when road material and funds become available. Limestone will be the material of choice with an asphalt surface. The entrance will be just west of the public ramp off of State Highway FM-255. A large culvert will be required to bridge the gulley that is situated between the area designated for Park use. The culvert is required to permit gulley wash. The interior roads will be routed through the Park as outlined in Tab A. The width of the road will be accommodate two large vehicles. The parking lot will be located on the far west side of the Park and should provide spaces for three to four hundered vehicles.
PHASE 6: Contstruction will commence with the pouring of the concrete slab measuring 100 X 60 ft. Within that footage a covered area of 70 X 30 ft will be the pavillion. The pavillion should seat 200 people in lawn chairs. There will be a 15 ft apron around the covered area for the purpose of moving a mobile stage. Other buildings will be restrooms which the Angelina Neches River Authority will designate the size and requirments for the disabled. At the ends of the restroom building will be a room for storage of cleaning materials and at the other end, a small office for administrative purposes. Finally, a gate building will be located at the entrance of the facility coming off of highway FM-255. The total number of buildings may be (3) if we are allowed to build on the opposite ends of the restrooms, or (5) if this is not permitted. Maintenance of the grounds will be performed by volunteers, public service workers, and personnel from local correctional institutions. Water and electricity will be provided by local companies.

FUNDING: The funding of this project will be through donations, grants, activity fees and services in kind. In addition, funds will be raised through the internet, local media and magazines. At the present time we have pledges amounting to several thousand dollars and organizations have already requested reservations for the use of the Park when it becomes a grassed in meadow. We have refused to accept any funds or reservations until Jasper County and the Corp of Engineers approve the plan and we have been incorporated under the Texas corporation law for non-profit Associations.
RECOMMENDATIONS: That the County Commisioners Court adopt this plan and forward it to the Corp of Engineers for final approval and implementation.
November 9, 1999

JASPER COUNTY- The Honorable Joe Folk, County Judge-
To: U.S. Army Engr. Dist. Of Fort Worth-
Thru: USACE-

The attached plan for a limited recreation area has been approved by the Jasper County Commsioners Court and is forwarded to your district for final approval and implementation.

Co-ordinator for this project is COL (ret) Billy E. Marshall.

Sincerely, Joe Folk


"We have a need for the availability of a facility that can be used by many different people for many different reasons, states Tim Berryman, owner/operator of the Catfish Cabin in Jasper Tx, which would include different groups such as family reunions, company picnics, or for whatever people have a need for. "At present, Tim advises, "we have no such facility available for this purpose, which would incorporate the natural beauty of the lake, and as we have an incredible resource available to us for that purpose, we really need to utilize that resource. "I also feel that this new facility will not only help to draw new business to Jasper County, but to the entire lake area as well, Tim finalized.

"I can't really add much to what Tim has just said, answered retired Mobil Oil Executive, Nelson Burton, "but as we don't have a facility of this type anywhere around the lake, I do see the need for this multi purpose facility that would attract the varied interests of other groups such as corporate, small business, scout groups, church groups, and anything else of that nature, which includes fishing tournaments, and or, fishing seminars. "We realize, Nelson explains, "that we can't build the "perfect facility" for any one thing but we are going to try to make it as close to that as we can.

"Well, we've been trying to get this land as it is the last piece of land available on the south end of the lake, advised U.S. Army Colonel (Ret) Bill Marshall, "as it fulfills one of the economic developement plans of the County, "and, I would like to take this opportunity to commend Jasper County for helping us to get this plan approved and forwarded to the Corp. "At the present time, Bill informed, "the plan is in Corp Headquarters and we're going to constantly follow up to be sure that it is approved in absolute minimum of time. "One of the things about this area down there, Bill further informs, "is that it's going to take a lot of volunteers to get this thing done, and that's what we're getting as a lot of people are volunteering to help us as we all want to try and have this facility operational in the fastest time possible. "It will also have the latest in roads, restrooms, a pavillion, parking lot, "the whole works", as it's something that we've always needed because we haven't been fulfilling the full market potential of the south end of the lake, "and I sincerely think this will accomplish that mission.

"To me, finalized Committee Director, Don Collins, "as Bill has just said, we don't have a facility like what's needed for here, especially for what's needed up on the lake, as we need a multi-purpose complex which will be for the people as they'll have plenty of room for holding their events, such as the larger fishing tournaments, or church youth groups, as they'll have a 12 acre area right on the lake which is located within a protective cove right next to a boat launch facility. "And, Don concludes, "as what has already been agreed upon by everyone, this is something that has been extremely needed, and for as long as this new facility helps to generate traffic through our County it will prove to be beneficial to the area business'.

(Editors Note)- This new facility will provide a clean and roomy complex for everyone to enjoy as it will have protective cover for adverse weather conditions. It will not "however" have any campground facilities or campground accommodations which would deter any business from the established campground facilities located around the lake. This is an events complex only which will be a "FREE" -(with a nominal clean-up fee deposit)- and open for the public to reserve for their events, which will be operated on a first come-first served basis. The facility, although controlled by the Sam Rayburn Business Group, will operate in conjunction with the Jasper Chamber of Commerce.

For more information on this multi-purpose facility and how you can reserve your event for when its operational -(hopefully within (8) months of timber cutting)- contact Bill Marshall at (409)-698-2554 -Fax-(409)-698-2292-or e-mail <>.

L to R- Tim Berryman, Don Collins, Bill Marshall, and Nelson Burton prepare to break ground for "Rayburn Meadows"

Overview plan of new park area
< photos by Ed Snyder >

Artisits conception of proposed "Rayburn Meadows" facillity buildings

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