Last Tuesdays joint meeting between the city and county officials was interesting. The meeting was about what some in the community considered, the huge over selling of the "Aquatic Park". Although City Administrator Ray Gosack said during the joint meeting, while campaigning for the 1% tax extension, the conceptual drawing of the aquatic park was just that, a conceptual drawing and he was selling the $4 million in tax revenue for the park. I would bet he never told anyone the real aquatic park would be less than 50% the size of the conceptual drawing he was presenting to the electorate. I mean, you look at the two drawings from the aerial view and the revised park appears much smaller and hasn’t set well with many who voted for the park. Regardless, voters overwhelmingly passes the measure by over 64% voting for.
Ray Gosack said during the meeting, the city could not contribute any more funds to the park, which leaves the County Judge and the JPs to solve the problem, and the county officials were engaged, attentive and appeared to be willing to try and solve the problem. JP Jim Medley gave several good possibilities and director Phil Merry had the idea of selling commercial sponsorships on umbrellas, lounge chairs, etc. I do find it quite ironic that the city can raise water and sewer rates 3 times during a 4 year period and then turn around and take $2.1 million from that same water and sewer fund to provide utilities to 60 acres of private downtown riverfront property, but can’t contribute another cent to fulfill what many voters thought was the actual drawing.
The county officials definitely outperformed the city directors in this joint meeting and could possibly be the white knight to solve the problem, but then again, it is the county who will be campaigning to extend a county tax to be voted on in May. A solution in favor of the electorate who voted for a conceptual drawing would surely help their effort.