Pape-Dawson Wins Contract for City’s Hike and Bike Trail

by Kim Johnson, Wilson County News

Pape-Dawson Engineers has been awarded the design contract for improvements to the Floresville El Camino Trail.

Floresville City Finance Director Cynthia Sturm and City Manager Andy Joslin presented the firm’s quote of $200,967 to the city’s six-member Hike & Bike Trail committee at their Sept. 21 meeting.

The price quoted, according to Sturm, includes project management, trail and drainage design, traffic control, environmental and landscape plans, survey, environmental permit, utility coordination, Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation certification, geotechnical engineering services, and construction phase services.

“[Pape-Dawson] will be present throughout the project, making sure their design is followed,” Sturm said. “And they’ll be coming to the committee for approval on the design options for amenities.”

“Once the design is completed, [the project] will open up for construction bids,” she explained.

Following some discussion, the committee voted to recommend the firm’s proposal for approval by the Floresville City Council. It was presented to and approved by the council the following night.

Plans for the $927,000 two-mile trail improvement project, funded in part by a grant from Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT), will include a wider paved trail with lights, benches, and disabled access ramps….

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Petco Is Launching Stores for a New Group of Customers: Cows, Goats and Horses

by Parija Kavilanz, CNN

NEW YORK – Horses, cows, goats, pigs and sheep have food and grooming needs, too, and Petco is stepping up to deliver its products and services to their owners.

Petco announced Thursday it is launching a new, smaller store concept that’s specifically designed to meet the needs of both pets and farm animals in small towns and rural communities.

The first Petco Neighborhood Farm & Pet Supply store is set to open June 17 in Floresville, Texas, which is 28 miles southeast of San Antonio. The pet supplies and services retailer said the new store will carry a curated assortment of food products and services, including mobile vaccination, grooming, and self-service stations for owners to wash their farm animals.

In partnership with Petco Love (formerly the Petco Foundation), the neighborhood farm and pet supply locations will offer adoption services and other health and wellness programs to further support local pets. Customers can also buy “companion animals” like guinea pigs, hamsters, birds, reptiles and amphibians at the store, as is the case at some existing outlets.

Similar to Petco’s city stores, the neighborhood stores will offer same-day delivery and curbside pickup.

Petco CEO Ron Coughlin said in a statement that small towns and rural communities “are rapidly-growing markets” for the pet care industry. “This is an exciting opportunity for us to serve more pets by dramatically expanding local access to healthy pet products and services.”

The company, which operates more than 1,300 locations in the US, said it expects to open a handful of these stores in 2022 as the company strives to expand its market beyond urban centers….

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Petco Opening First Neighborhood Farm & Pet Supply for Rural Communities in Floresville

by Rebecca Salinas, KSAT 12 TV San Antonio

SAN ANTONIO – A Petco for rural pets and farm animals is opening this week in Floresville.

The company said that the new store, called Neighborhood Farm & Pet Supply, was designed to serve pets and farm animals in the rural community.

The Floresville location will be Petco’s first test location and it will open on Friday in the 300 block of 10th St.

It will include supplies and services for pets and farm animals such as horses, cows, pigs, sheep, goats and more, a news release states.

“These are rapidly-growing markets where pet parents are looking for an experienced, pet-dedicated partner like Petco to help them care for the health and wellness of their animals,” Petco CEO Ron Coughlin said in a news release. “This is an exciting opportunity for us to serve more pets by dramatically expanding local access to healthy pet products and services.”

The store will offer adoption services, health and wellness programs, farm and feed assortment, mobile vaccination and grooming services, self-wash stations, same-day delivery, and curbside pickup.

Additional Neighborhood Farm & Pet Supply are expected to open in the U.S. depending on the success of the test location, the release states….

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Lennar to Build 94 Homes in New Floresville Community

by Steven Santana, MySA

National homebuilder Lennar Homes broke ground Thursday, June 9, on a new residential community about 30 minutes south of San Antonio. Lodi Grove will be a 94-home community and Lennar’s first-ever in Floresville, Texas.

The homes are scheduled for a grand opening in summer 2023 and will include large living and kitchen spaces, a resort-style master bedroom, and modern technology features, according to a news release from Lennar.

Located at Hwy. 181 N. and CR 130, future residents of Lodi Grove will have access to outdoor amenities like walking trails and kids of Lodi Grove will attend Floresville ISD schools. The neighborhood is also adjacent to a Walmart, and Floresville has nine community parks.

“Floresville is growing quickly, particularly among young residents wanting proximity to San Antonio but without the urban congestion,” said Brian Barron, San Antonio division president for Lennar, in a news release.

Lennar says the home in Lodi Grove will be competitively priced. The median sales price of a home in Floresville in 2022 is $385,000, according to Redfin….

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Lennar Announces Plans for Lodi Grove New Home Community in Floresville

PR Newswire

Lennar, one of the nation’s leading homebuilders, has announced its first-ever new home community in Floresville, Texas, located approximately 30 minutes southeast of San Antonio. Called Lodi Grove, the development will include 94 homes featuring Lennar’s trademark quality, technology and design at an exceptionally competitive price. A groundbreaking ceremony took place Thursday, June 9.

“Floresville is growing quickly, particularly among young residents wanting proximity to San Antonio but without the urban congestion,” said Brian Barron, San Antonio Division President for Lennar. “That has amplified the need for affordable homes in an area that has very little new home construction. With this in mind, we are positioning Lodi Grove with the lowest new home price point in the market, while still delivering the level of quality that Lennar is known for. Floresville is a beautiful and charismatic town, and we are excited to be a part of its story.”

Scheduled for a Summer 2023 grand opening, homes at Lodi Grove will feature the latest designer details, including generous living and kitchen spaces, resort-style master suites and technology upgrades that meet the needs of the most contemporary homebuyer.

Residents of Lodi Grove will enjoy a linear park and direct connection to a walking trail system and trailhead park. Children living at Lodi Grove will be served by the Floresville School District, which partners with the Alamo College System to allow students to graduate with college credits….

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World Heritage Center Will Serve Rancho de las Cabras

by Gregory Ripps, Wilson County News

A World Heritage Center will be constructed to serve San Antonio’s five Spanish missions and Rancho de las Cabras near Floresville.

According to San Antonio World Heritage Office Director Colleen Swain, the new center will serve as an orientation center for visitors to the sites, as well as a place to provide information on the history, art, and culture of their surrounding communities.

A map and artist’s renderings of the future center were displayed April 23 at the Mission Branch San Antonio Public Library on Roosevelt Avenue near Mission San José.

Plans call for the 10,077-square-foot center to include a 5,672-square-foot interior and a 4,405-square-foot outdoor veranda to be located just north of the library.

Funding for the project comes from a San Antonio 2017-22 bond.

“We anticipate breaking ground on the center in the fall, with completion of phase 1 in 2023,” Swain told the Wilson County News.

The historical locations to be served by the center are part of the San Antonio Missions National Historical Park, which received World Heritage designation in 2015 by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization.

Area ranching operations provided food for mission residents in the 1700s, but Rancho de las Cabras is the only ranch where ruins of a ranch compound have been identified as such. The Rancho raised cattle and goats for Mission Espada, the southernmost of the missions.

“We are happy to share information about opportunities for tours at Rancho de las Cabras through the National Park Service with any visitors,” Swain said….

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Wilson County Jailhouse Museum Restoration Advances

by Gregory Ripps, Wilson County News

The final push is on to complete restoration of the front section of the Wilson County Jailhouse Museum.

In recent days, workers have focused on the floors and woodwork in the part of the former jailhouse in downtown Floresville that once served as living quarters for the county sheriff and his family.

“I love working on it,” said Doug Fehse, owner of Avanna’s, a Floresville home remodeling and furniture sales business. “I look forward to the Jailhouse Museum reopening its doors to the public.”

Fehse recently rebuilt the large front door to the building in his shop before he and his employees installed it. Because of the condition of the wood, the wood for the door and doorframe is new — as the wood is for the windows, window frames, and other wooden trim replaced earlier.

The woodwork has been painted white, as it appeared before restoration began, although Fehse says the woodwork might have been stained a natural color when the jailhouse was originally built in the 1880s….

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El Camino Real Fans Flock to Floresville

by Gregory Ripps, Wilson County News

Smugglers. Cattle drives. Adventurers. El Camino Real de los Tejas saw all these and more.

About 50 people participated April 22-23 in El Camino Real de los Tejas National Historic Trail Association’s two-day annual meeting.

Several participants said the meeting, funded by the Floresville Economic Development Corp., was the association’s best.

While many participants walked Floresville’s section of the historic trail the second day, the first day’s presentations at the Beer Warehouse drew people from across the state to learn and share information about the historic trail that stretched 2,500 miles across Texas.

Texas A&M University-San Antonio Associate Professor Francis Galan led off the presentations with “Warfare, Patrols, and Smuggling: The Camino Real and the Problem of Borders in Spanish Texas.”

While reviewing historical records of the goods that were transported on the “King’s Highway” in the 1600s and 1700s, Galan explained that the trail — which expedited trade from Saltillo, deep in Mexico, to the Louisiana border during the Spanish colonial period — also opened the door for smuggling, which the Spanish government could not stop….

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El Camino Real Event Will Spotlight Floresville History

by Gregory Ripps, Wilson County News

Floresville will host an event in a few weeks that will highlight two of the earliest European constructions in the area.

The Trail de Flores Chapter of the El Camino Real de los Tejas National Historic Trail Association plans to host the association’s annual meeting April 22-23 in Floresville.

The association, dedicated to preserving and promoting the “royal road” throughout Texas, has been working with a number of entities to make more sections of the trail “hikeable.” However, local chapter President Dave Regan notes that the association and the National Park Service have been taking a special interest in activity to develop the section of the trail in Wilson County.

According to Regan, recent developments involving the Floresville El Camino Trail — previously known as the Floresville Hike and Bike Trail — include:

  • Designating a section of the trail within Helton Nature Park
  • Installing interpretive panels at the head of the trail
  • Renewing pedestrian signs along the trail
  • Installing roadside trail-crossing and trailhead directional signs.

“The Trail de Flores Chapter has been spearheading these activities while assessing the feasibility of future trail expansion, making Floresville an ideal and deserving location for the association’s annual meeting,” Regan said….

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FEDC Funds Pecan Park Makeover, and More

by Gregory Ripps, Wilson County News

Floresville Economic Development Corp. board members approved funding for three projects at their March 14 meeting.

The city’s 9-acre Pecan Park will receive an added boost of $15,000, to keep an ongoing improvement project on track.

Completed elements of the project include:

  • Replacing old barbecue pits with 10 new ones
  • Replacing old trash cans with 14 new ones
  • Installing 10 new benches and two new bicycle racks.

Elements soon to be completed:

  • Manicuring the park’s pecan trees
  • Laying large stones around the parking lot to prevent vehicles from driving into the park.

The old posts around the parking lot have already been removed, according to corporation Executive Director Ben Reed.

Floresville City Manager Andy Joslin explained that the additional funds are currently needed because prices for equipment rental and labor have increased since original estimates were made.

“All costs are going up,” he said.

Future phases of the Pecan Park improvements include….

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Businesses Flock to Floresville in 2021

by Devan Sutton, Wilson County News

Not one, not two, but at least 10 new businesses set up shop in Floresville last year, despite challenges from the continuing pandemic.

In 2021, Floresville welcomed a wide variety of businesses, from restaurants and boutiques, to a martial arts academy and even an industrial outfit….

Floresville saw much growth last year, but it wasn’t just in the business sector….

Floresville also gained an amphitheater last fall, named after the late Floresville city Councilman Gerard J. Jimenez, and located at the Floresville Sports Complex….

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New Windows Let Light Shine on Jailhouse Museum Restoration

by Gregory Ripps, Wilson County News

“We do it the way they used to do it.”

Doug Fehse was referring to having to separately rebuild and reframe each window in the front of the Wilson County Jailhouse Museum — the part of the building that once provided living quarters for the county sheriff and his family.

The work is part of ongoing efforts to restore the historical building in downtown Floresville.

The windows and areas around them have suffered from decades of water seepage. The old window frames and their casings were not only rotting and in generally bad shape, but all of them also were slightly different sizes.

Consequently, all the window frames have to be custom-made, according to Fehse, owner of Avanna’s, the Floresville business tackling the restoration work on the windows.

However, Fehse told the Wilson County News Oct. 27 that he found it more fun to “remake the old stuff’ than simply to install new windows. “Besides, making everything is faster than ordering,” he said. “We’re also doing all the work — windows, masonry, and painting — not having to wait for separate contractors to do different things.”

Fehse added that he has been donating personal time on weekends and in the evenings to get the window project completed. He plans to begin work on the historical building’s front door next….

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77th Annual Floresville Peanut Festival Preps Underway

by Erin Rodriguez, KENS 5 San Antonio

Poteet has its celebration of all things strawberries – and over in Wilson County, it’s all about the peanuts. And the coronation gowns. And a parade. And a carnival. And the beer garden and so on.

But back to the peanuts. The event promises “delicious peanut brittle and roasted peanuts” among the tasty treats available to satisfy all peanut cravings.

The Floresville Peanut Festival is a three-day event held each year in the second full weekend of October. It officially kicks off this Thursday, October 7.

There is free parking and free admission to the grounds on the Courthouse Square in historic downtown Floresville.

Goober Games kicked off the festivities on Tuesday afternoon at the Floresville Event Center, offering games and activities for the younger crowd. A carnival also offers thrilling rides on Thursday night through Saturday night. And don’t miss the kiddie parade on Friday afternoon for the little ones to show off their miniature floats and costumes….

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Shannon Galvanizing Breaks Ground in Floresville

by Gregory Ripps, Wilson County News

“Thank you for coming and picking our community.”

Those were the words of Floresville Economic Development Corp. (FEDC) Executive Director Ben Reed at the March 30 groundbreaking for the Shannon Galvanizing plant. A number of local officials and civic leaders echoed his message at the event.

The 50,000-square-foot plant — to be constructed at 804 F.M. 537 in the Rancho Grande Industrial Park — is expected to provide as many as 60 jobs for people in the local area.

“After the year everyone has had, it’s great to come out here for this,” Floresville Mayor Cissy Gonzalez-Dippel said. “Thank you, every organization that made this happen.”

Leading the effort to bring Shannon Galvanizing to the area was the FEDC, and Reed said he had been talking with the Shannon brothers for about a year and a half before their plans materialized….

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Floresville to Host Future Generations Powwow

by Nanette Kilbey-Smith, Wilson County News

It’s an event such as Wilson County hasn’t seen, and it’s coming to Floresville on Saturday.

Plan now to attend the Future Generations Powwow on Saturday, Aug. 14, at the Floresville Event Center. It’s hosted by the Carrizo Comecrudo Tribe, based in Wilson County.

Admission is free to the daylong event, which will include a Floresville Community Market, a school supply drive, dancing, live music, and more.

“What we hope to achieve with such events is to develop cultural respect,” said Tim Tallchief of the Osage, master of ceremonies for Saturday’s powwow. “Each tribe has its own language and traditions — is its own nation. We respect each other’s ways and appreciate each other’s uniqueness.”

“We, as participants, appreciate Juan Mancias and the city of Floresville for bringing us together for this wonderful event,” Tallchief said.

And the city is thrilled to host the powwow….

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