A neighborhood in the far west of Fort Worth has been selected to receive the city’s next round of neighborhood improvement grants.
This week, members of Fort Worth City Council approved the allocation of $ 3.5 million to Las Vegas Trail. The funds should be used for investments that will improve the quality of life of residents of the neighborhood.
âLas Vegas Trail is 1% of the city of Fort Worth, but it’s 4% of crime,â District 3 Councilor Michael Crain said. “So the people who live here, and there are some really good people who live here and call Las Vegas Trail home, but they’re surrounded by crime and other things that you shouldn’t have in a neighborhood.”
According to the City of Fort Worth, the Las Vegas Trail area is home to more than 13,700 residents in an area of ââ1.69 square miles. Other data considered in choosing Las Vegas Trail for improvements in 2022 include its 33% poverty rate, 10% unemployment rate, and above-average crime rate. The area is also considered a food desert, with 82% of the area’s residents living at least a mile from access to fresh food.
Willie Rankin, executive director of the nonprofit LVTRise, said funding could play an important role in meeting immediate needs.
âFirst, there are just the basic infrastructure things. Sidewalks, street lights and basic infrastructure that could slow cars down. We have a lot of kids crossing the street playing frogs because of the speed of the cars, âRankin said. âCommunity needs, maybe just more open spaces like splashpads. Many apartment complexes have closed their pools due to Fort Worth’s drowning rate so high, but families still want to stay cool in the summer.
While the Las Vegas Trail area has a lot of potential, Rankin said the population is underserved.
âYou see a lot of different neighborhoods across Fort Worth that have a lot of amenities that can help them,â he said. “This money is a good step forward, as there are some points that could be dealt with right away.”
So far, Fort Worth has invested $ 14.7 million in five previous target areas: Stop Six, Ash Crescent, Northside, Rosemont and Como.
âLast year’s neighborhood was Como, which is also in District 3. They also installed additional cameras. A lot of that is to enforce the code and make sure the properties are clean and follow the code, âCrain said.
Regarding Las Vegas Trail specifically, he added that the change will not happen overnight.
âThe neighborhood itself, it took him 30 years to get to the state that is. In the 80s it was a cool place. People used to live here. There were a lot of families who were attached to the closure of the base before it reopened, you saw a drop, âhe said. “It has been a years-long effort already, but it will give us the injection and the momentum to keep it all going.”
Next month, the city’s neighborhood services department will meet with leaders of the Western Hills North Neighborhood Association and LVTRise to begin planning. It is expected to be followed by a public meeting in February, where residents will vote on the types of improvements they want to see in their neighborhood. Work will begin in April.