Royse City Main Street FunFest 2019

A photo of Royse City's historic downtown area during its annual FunFest celebration. The Royse City Council on Tuesday voted to extend the town's Heritage Preservation District. 

Royse City Mayor Janet Nichol on Wednesday announced that a new YMCA facility could be coming to town.

No contracts have yet been signed between the city and the organization, but Nichol said all involved parties are set on working with one another. According to a Facebook post she published Wednesday afternoon, the Royse City Independent School District will also be included in the partnership.

“We’re just in the early stages of the (partnership.) We’re going to sit down at the table and have time to talk about what the city wants, what the district wants and what our residents are looking at,” Nichol told the Royse City Herald-Banner.

Also included in the mayor’s social media post was a statement from Irene Johnson, a representative of the YMCA of Metropolitan Dallas. She said the organization will “gauge the public interest” of having a YMCA facility in the city.

“I will do that by working with leaders to identify gaps that might exist and how (YMCA) could fill them,” Johnson stated. “As we serve, it is our purpose to strengthen the foundations of community. I look forward to joining you and building relationships in the Royse City Community.”

Several city officials confirmed that the potential partnership with YMCA was discussed during the closed executive session of Tuesday’s regular council meeting.

The matter was listed as a “discussion regarding partnering with community activity/athletic organization on city owned property located in Collin County,” on the council meeting agenda.

No action was taken by the council after closed session.

Councilman Tom Crowley, Place 6, said he thinks a partnership with YMCA could help the city, but added that nothing had been finalized.

“If we are able to attract an agency such as YMCA, it would certainly be a benefit to the future growth of the city,” Crowley said. “However, to my knowledge we don’t have any firm plans on anything in that direction at the moment.”

Before its closed executive session, the City Council approved plans regarding the expansion of the city’s heritage preservation district to cover areas west of Houston Street and east of Pond Branch Creek. Sidewalks on Main Street will also be extended westward to provide pedestrian access.

City Manager Carl Alsabrook said he hopes the expansion of the historic Main Street area will attract a wider variety of businesses to town. 

“The purpose of it is to get more businesses that would fit into what our Main Street is along State Highway 66,” Alsabrook said.

He said the new Smoke Sessions Barbecue location, which will be in the newly added portion of the heritage district, will bring a unique look to Main Street and will bring visitors from outside the city. City officials will also work with the Texas Historical Commission to make sure that the architectural look and feel of downtown Royse City is preserved.

Though Main Street makes up the heart of the heritage district, it also encompasses historic neighborhoods.

Nichol said she has heard residents’ concerns with parking with added commercial growth in the downtown area.

“I know there are parking issues; it’s something we’re working on,” Nichol said. “Any old town is going to have parking issues because they’re built around the community, but I understand why there are concerns, I totally get it. We are working on it and we’re not ignoring it.”