Maude Cobb Tree Removal

Gregg County is assisting the city of Longview in removing trees at the Maude Cobb Convention and Activity Center.

Gregg County is assisting the city of Longview in removing trees at the Maude Cobb Convention and Activity Center in preparation for the arrival of the Great Texas Balloon Race.

In a November letter to commissioners, acting Public Works Director Dwayne Archer requested the assistance of Gregg County Pct. 1 in providing labor and equipment to the city for several projects.

One of those projects will see trees removed from property off Jaycee Drive at the Maude Cobb complex.

The letter cites the move later this year of the annual balloon race from the East Texas Regional Airport to Maude Cobb as the reason for the project and that “the tree removal will provide the organizers greater flexibility with the event.”

The precinct’s assistance to the city was approved during a recent commissioners meeting.

Pct. 1 Commissioner Ronnie McKinney said his crews often are asked to help with city projects, and he has no problem providing manpower.

The city primarily furnishes any materials needed while the county provides equipment, McKinney said.

Great Texas Balloon Race Chair Michelle Ford said she believes the improvements the city is making on the Maude Cobb property will enhance the space for race activities held on the ground, “and of course our event would certainly benefit from those changes.”

The annual balloon race consists of two events — a hot air balloon competition and a festival with music, vendors and other entertainment.

Due to COVID-19 restrictions in 2021, only the competition events were held within the city of Longview.

While the festival portion of the balloon race has not been held in two years, Ford said the event is expected to return in full when it is held June 17 to 19.

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