Midland City Council votes against Hogan Park Conservancy project
MIDLAND, Texas (KOSA) - The Midland City Council voted 4 - 2 against the Hogan Park Project at today’s meeting.
The vote was a resolution on whether or not to approve a development and lease agreement with the Permian Basin quality of place conservancy for the design, construction, maintenance and operation of certain improvements to Hogan Park.
“The vast majority of the people, I’d say probably 90 something percent that contacted me said this is not what we want and I think the real challenge here so I’m not against the private public partnership I think we could have benefitted from it but the manner of which you go about doing something lets the public know do you care about their input,” said City Councilman At Large Dan Corrales.
Corrales, who voted against the agreement, says the item was put on today’s agenda because it was communicated by some people on the conservancy board that if the council did not make a decision they would walk away.
The project has been controversial since the start, due to the lack of district 2 representation on the board of the conservancy for the park and the inability for the public to vote.
At a public forum held about the project back in November people voiced to council members they felt a lack of transparency in the project.
The price of the park also raised concerns.
“When you talk about 65 years times two million 130 million dollars if a dollar today is a dollar tomorrow which everyone knows that it’s not plus the consumer price index increases that kind of expenditure my kids and my grandkids will still be paying for that,” said Corrales.
The project will now be done in house which will most likely mean less funding for the project and no more input from the conservancy board, but that doesnt mean the park won’t still be renovated. It just may not be to the full extent of the plans laid out by the conservancy.
“We understand the importance of parks. We want to invest in our kids’ future. We are not saying no, we are saying the price to pay to hand it over to the conservancy was too much for tax payers to bear,” said Corrales.
Moving forward the council will decide the amount of money to put into the park and what renovations they all agree on.
“If we could rewind and start over, what I would say is make sure the public knows what you’re proposing so that we have genuine transparency we use that work way too much without really meaning it and what does that mean to me communicate what the contract details are and how much the public the taxpayers are on the line for,” said Corrales.
Corrales says they will be responsible and complete the park in stages while also making improvements to parks across the board.
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