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Senator Hutchison Kicks Off Construction Project

Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison was the featured speaker at a celebration memorializing the start of construction for the Big Cypress Bayou Fish and Wildlife Habitat Restoration Project on August 9 in Jefferson.  The event was held at the historic Excelsior Hotel and was skillfully hosted by the Jessie Allen Wise Garden Club and the City of Jefferson.   (Video on Information Page)

Mayor Jeff Fratangelo welcomed the Senator, U.S. Representative Louis Gohmert, several Corps of Engineer dignitaries and had a special welcome and thanks for Dick Collins and his mother, Calvert Keoun Collins, formerly of Marshall.  Mayor Fratangelo called the day a special occasion to celebrate a new opportunity for a stronger and more resilient future for Jefferson.

Senator Hutchison expressed her excitement with being in Jefferson and pleasure she experienced working on project funding.  She projected that it will help protect the wetlands, re-establish the bald cypress trees, improve water habitats and offer outstanding educational opportunities.  “This new park will be one of Texas’ great natural habitats and will be enjoyed for generations,” she stated.

Colonel Richard J. Muraski, Jr., Commander and District Engineer for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, added, “good things come to those who wait.  It’s a credit to the citizens of Jefferson and all those who worked on this project.”

Dick Collins presented closing remarks and thanked all who have been involved over the 15 year history of planning and development. “This project had stalled and would not be over the finish line without Jefferson’s mayor, Jeff Fratangelo.”

Fifteen years ago to the day the first meeting to begin the design process was held at the Excelsior Hotel.