The future of Hogan Park and public-private partnerships in Midland
Diamondback Energy Inc. President and CFO says public-private partnerships are vital for Midland’s future.
ODESSA, Texas (KOSA) - The ink has dried on the Hogan Park renovations. The Midland City Council denied the proposal for renovation set forth by the Permian Quality of Place Conservancy in a 4-2 vote.
The question becomes, what is next? And what is the future of public-private partnerships in the City of Midland?
CBS7′s Mary Kate Hamilton sat down with Midland mayor Lori Blong and Diamondback Energy Inc. President and CFO Kaes Van’t Hof, who both say public-private partnerships are vital for Midland’s future.
“The gut reaction is to say, ‘why are we trying to help?’” Van’t Hof said. “But, at the end of the day, we have a thousand employees here. This is our home. We’re going to keep doing our part, but we need the other side to work with us to make progress.”
For Van’t Hof, Diamondback’s investment into Hogan Park was important not only as a Midland resident, but as a business leader.
“We need to make sure that this city is somewhere Diamondback can continue to grow and entice people to come here, and put their faith in us and this town to provide them a good life, a good education for their children, soccer fields to play on, and renovated parks.”
28.5 million philanthropic dollars had been raised by private entities like Diamondback for the renovation of Hogan Park via the Permian Quality of Place Conservancy. That money is now in the process of being redirected, either to another project of the Conservancy’s, or back to the company that pledged the money.
“The Quality of Place Conservancy went back to the donors to ask, ‘how would you like this money allocated and spent,’” Mayor Lori Blong said.
The public-private partnership was a point of contention in the Hogan Park discussion, but Blong says these partnerships have been utilized successfully in the past, and must be utilized in the future.
“What it does is it allows us to offset the cost of the amenities that we have in our community, so that taxpayers are not feeling that whole burden,” Blong said. “We need private donors, we need industry leadership, and philanthropy in our community in order to have nice things in our community.”
And as Midland continues to grow as a city and an industry hub, Van’t Hof says he hopes the city will work with private entities to invest in itself.
“This is our home. This company was built here. It will be here, and we’re going to keep doing our part to continue to develop this town. But we need the other hand to come from the city,” Van’t Hof said.
Blong says she does believe there are other avenues to explore when it comes to Hogan Park renovations. It will not, however, be through the Permian Quality of Place Conservancy.
Blong added that Midland should continue to attack its problems, not its people.
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