HALLSVILLE — The Hallsville City Park is soon to get a long overdue facelift, hopefully in time for the town’s popular Western Days event the first weekend of October, Hallsville Mayor Jesse Casey and City Administrator Marty Byers said on Tuesday.

Thanks to a combination of private funds, city money and a Texas Parks and Wildlife Department matching grant, the park will soon have a new French drain system to prevent future flooding and new playground equipment.

The $150,000 grant combined with the $12,000 each from the Hallsville Park Committee and the Hallsville Lions Club added to the $51,000 from the City of Hallsville will cover the costs of the new updates — though Casey said the work at the park is not complete in his eyes.

“This is just the first step of what the city and the park committee would like to do at the park,” Casey said. “This is not considered finished to us.”

All of the current playground equipment, excluding the merry-go-round, will be replaced with new swing sets, slides and covered pavilions with solar powered lighting.

“We will keep the current pavilion and we will have new playground equipment installed that has an area for 2 -to 5-year-olds, and an area for 5- to 12-year-olds,” Byers said. “We will also have an ADA-compliant swing that you can push a wheelchair into the swing and we will have another swing with a seat.”

The new slides and swing sets will be installed by Heartland Play, and city employees will remove the old equipment from the park after they finish installing the new French drain systems.

“We hope to have it ready in time for Western Days,” Casey said. “And then after Western Days, the last weekend of October, we have the Hallsville Sesquicentennial Celebration, which part of that event will be held at the park.”

The last time the park was updated with new playground equipment was the late 1960s or early 1970s, Casey said.

“The Hallsville Park Committee collected private donations over the past several years and the Hallsville Lions Club donated funds, so along with that money, the grant and money from the city, we were able to get this done,” Casey said.

The city has taken several steps in recent years to update its park, including the construction of a new set of restrooms. Donations were collected by a private resident, who built the amphitheater and stage currently at the park.