by Christa Lollis
ANGELINA COUNTY, TX (KTRE) - 12 years and close to 2 million dollars later construction has finally begun on the Cassels-Boykin project thanks to Doctor Bill Shelton and his friends. "Dr. Shelton came on and he and I had hunted and fished together for years and we used to talk about it, we need to do something with Rayburn and there were a lot of other people that felt the same way. So, it began with those conversations and those dreams and it's finally arrived. It's been a long time coming," James Slack with the Lake Improvement Task Force explained.
The project started small over a decade ago, and has now grown into a one of a kind park for East Texas. The new park will have five new boat ramps, public restrooms, a pavilion and an amphitheater. The hope is all these new amenities will bring people to Angelina County.
The pavilion, named after Shelton and his wife, will be large enough to hold 400 people. Attracting that amount of tourists will be a boost for Angelina county. County Judge Wes Suiter said, "It fits in line with the County's direction for retirement initiative and it would be a big plus for our drive to increase tourism and I think it's going to have a high impact on economic development, especially on this end of the county."
A 500 thousand dollar grant from Texas Parks and Wildlife along with donations from the TLL Temple Foundation and several other local organizations have brought the dream of local fishermen to life.
Slack who is one of those fisherman said, "Our dream is to make this a recreation destination. We've got, not only will we have the pavilion and the ability to host tournaments and things like that and we've got another 155 acres of undeveloped land."
Construction on the new facilities is expected to start in the next 30 to 60 days and is projected to be finished by April.