Hello! Drought in North Texas-What About that 4B Proposed Water Park in Glen Rose, Texas?Somervell County Salon-Glen Rose, Rainbow, Nemo, Glass....Texas


Hello! Drought in North Texas-What About that 4B Proposed Water Park in Glen Rose, Texas?

3 March 2009 at 11:32:16 AM

Just got the minutes, courtesy of Mygnonne T, about the 4-B Tax meeting last night in which, amongst other things, the proposed water park was discussed. I'm interspersing some comments in with the minutes. Now, as you read this, notice that the way they want to find out if people like this is by having the newspapers ask for comments. Oh, please. How about a town hall meeting, well advertised in advance where people can go and speak as opposed to randomly getting comments, presumably in both newspapers, that certainly wouldn't be a representative poll but randomly done?


MARCH 2, 2009 - 6:15 PM
 1.       Approve Minutes of previous meeting of February 12, 2009.
 2.       Receive report on amount of 4B Tax income received to date.
 3.       Discuss development of Water Park and other possible projects.
 1.       Minutes: Mr. Miller moved to approve all minutes of previous meetings, stating that he feared there were “stragglers” that had not been approved as yet. Mr. Bruce seconded the motion, which passed 5/0.
 2.       Income Received to Date: Mr. Miller said that last month, the last time he checked, the 4-B had a balance of about $450,000. At the last meeting, funding of the Riverwalk was approved, which will be approximately $650,000 of which $150,000 is contingency. It is estimated that by the time the funding is required, it should be possible to fund the entire Riverwalk with cash on hand.

            Larry Smith asked if new figures were available on how much could be issued on bonds. Mr. Miller replied that it had been estimated at $2.5 million; however, he has not met with Mr. Sabonis since the “ground has shifted.”
Wonder what that means? Can the 4-b tax board issue bonds on behalf of city  taxpayers without having to bring it to a vote?

 3.       Water Park: Jimmy Gosdin said that he and Larry Smith are partners in Stoneview Properties, which is located just east of town. He presented a drawing and estimate prepared by Michael Buckley of eHT. There is enough room, he said, for a full-size Olympic pool, which would be of benefit to the school. Also included are a Lazy River, a couple of slides, a kiddie pool, commissary area and other things including an arcade/party building. Part of it could be eliminated or done at a later date, Mr. Gosdin said. If one were looking to lower the budget, he suggested the first thing to be postponed would be the arcade/party building, which represents $534,000 of the total budget. The indoor Olympic pool has a budget of $978,960. If the building were taken away, the budget would drop by $795,000. Mr. Buckley said that the building could be done in any number of ways, including roll-up doors for year-round use. Cleburne, he said, has a half-size Olympic pool, and they have geriatric and wheelchair access, and the pool is used by people of all ages.

            The total estimate for the project is $4.2 million. By taking out the arcade/party building and making the pool half-sized for now, the savings would be $1.6 million, bring the total to $2.6 million. Mr. Gosdin pointed out that Mr. Buckley has done all the engineering work at no cost, because he worked on the Riverwalk project and because he is working on Stoneview. It would be expected that he would be hired to do the project, he said.
            Mr. Gosdin opened the floor for questions, and Marilyn Phillips said that it had been pointed out to her recently that the water park issue is the “buzz of the town.” She commented that people must be reading the papers, and Mr. Wilson disagreed; however, he said he preferred not to comment further on the issue.
I wonder about this, too. Who would own this? The city? Would they purchase the land from Gosdin and Smith? At what price? Why wouldn't the project be sent out for bids instead of assuming that Buckley does the deal? There's already a pool at Oakdale, does the school not use that? What DOES the school use if they want to use a pool? Does the high school require an olympic size pool? Where's the water going to come from? Why, when Luminant's proposed new reactors would be using 33 billion gallons of water a year, most of which would be going up in the air instead of returned to the waterways, is it necessary to think about more water park? Um, don't we have a Lazy River at the um. BRAZOS RIVER????
            There was a brief discussion on the number of jobs that would be created not only during the construction of the project, but for lifeguards, concession and gift shop workers, etc.   A member of the audience commented that the water park is not expected to be a tourism draw on its own; however, there will be enough tourism activity to generate funding to allow local residents to enjoy a facility that is essentially funded by tourist dollars. Mr. Smith said that Cleburne’s facility has a positive cash flow in the summer, but due to the cost of covering and heating the pool during the winter, the cash flow is negative.
How come everything in this town that is publicly owned is always cash flow negative?
            It was suggested that something could be worked out with the school for their use, as well as the hospital for therapeutic use in order to generate extra cash. However, no discussions have been held as yet with either entity.
            Mr. Gosdin indicated that the budget as presented contained no land costs, and offered to expand upon that if anyone wanted. Mr. Miller said that some of the pools seemed to have problems with TMLA being hesitant to issue insurance for them; however, no one else could recall that as being an issue.
right. Mr. Gosdin and Mr. Smith own the land. How much would that cost?
            Mr. Roffino commented that initially, the big thing in the park was the Lazy River. He asked if the engineer had gone in the order of what people would like to have. Mr. Buckley commented that the Lazy River included in the plan is from the previous plan. The greatest concern, he said, is where the pool will go. The size of the park is a matter of budget.
            Mr. Miller expressed a desire to postpone any decision until a later meeting. He added his appreciation to Messrs. Gosdin, Smith and Buckley for bringing the information for Board review. Mr. Smith asked about the time line for approval of the project, and Mr. Miller said would ask the City staff to contact the bond people to determine the exact procedure for issuing bonds.
            Mr. Miller was asked who would determine the size and scope of the project ~ for example, whether or not an arcade would be included. Mr. Buckley said that public comment at the meeting and future meetings will help to determine the end result. Mr. Smith suggested that the newspapers might elicit comments from the public to determine what they would like to see.   
So, what, everybody needs to make sure they always attend the 4-b meetings or their comments won't be heard? Or make sure they are randomly contacted by the newspapers in an unscientific poll?
            Mr. Roffino summarized by saying that on the first Monday of next month, the Board will vote on whether or not they want to pursue the Water Park as a project. By that time they should know what the public wants to see, and how much can be covered by bond funds.
            Mr. Bruce moved to close the meeting. Mr. Wilson seconded the motion, which passed 5/0. The meeting adjourned at approximately 6:45 PM.

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1 - humanbeing   3 Mar 2009 @ 6:26:49 PM 

This is a bad idea being propagated by two individuals who are planning to make a lot of money on a piece of property (Mr. Smith's) that has been pillaged beyond recognition and the earth-moving services that Mr. Gosdin will provide. It would be a huge energy hog and totally out of character for Glen Rose. Places like Cleburne put in water parks because there is no other reason to want to go there. We don't have this problem here. We have our water parks already.

Olympic size pool for the schools? Will they use them like they use the tennis courts? Ridiculous. We have a swimming pool.

Intelligent use of water and money? I don't think so.  Please consider what this would mean and say no.

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2 - SomervellSally   4 Mar 2009 @ 2:31:27 PM 

Actually I think DINOPARK is a bad idea and an EYESORE and out of character for Gl Rose but we got it anyway. Makes the REAL state park look like it's entrance is a carnival when in fact it is this DINOPARK.. If DINOPARK could get in on the tax breaks and goodies, why not a waterpark? and while we are at it a string of Tatoo parlors and T-shirt vendors out on the main drag ?

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3 - salon   4 Mar 2009 @ 6:30:13 PM 

You crack me up.

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4 - humanbeing   4 Mar 2009 @ 6:30:51 PM 

 I agree with you, SomervellSally!!!!

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5 - joe   4 Mar 2009 @ 7:06:09 PM 

I think a water park is a bad idea considering we are in a drought every year. It seems the people who want to develop here only care about what the tourists want, not the folks who actually have to live here every day and deal with it.

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6 - humanbeing   4 Mar 2009 @ 7:36:00 PM 

You're absolutely right, Joe. Those of us who are not concerned about the water issues (whether a water park or two more reactors at Comanche Peak)  are dreaming. 

Also, the overwhelming consensus at the Community Planning meeting last week was that people want to see Glen Rose retain its original flavor. 

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7 - pstern   6 Mar 2009 @ 7:54:25 AM 

I thought water parks use recycled water and are set up to continue recycling water?

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8 - humanbeing   6 Mar 2009 @ 9:24:03 AM 

The promoters of water parks are claiming they recycle the water. I'm not exactly sure what this means? What kind of processing area needs to be built for this? How much is lost in evaporation? How much chlorine (a poison) will be used? How much energy does the process require?

Have Mr. Smith and Mr. Gosdin factored this into the cost? 

This project would be an irresponsible choice for our community.

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9 - somervellres   6 Mar 2009 @ 6:20:59 PM  I know that the 4B board would love citizen input on this. There was a townhall meeting about this issue, however, the Riverwalk was pushed to the front and the waterpark was put on a back burner after that meeting. Now that the Riverwalk funding has been approved, the 4B board is moving on to another project. This project will monopolize 4B funds for at least the next ten years. The 4B board needs to ensure that this a project that will indeed benefit the community before making a final decision. Here are a few things I think are very important in the decision making process: water!, what happens if no one comes to this waterpark, and it doesn't generate the income to pay for its self? If citizens don't want the waterpark, it's time to drag ourselves away from the blog and to the meeting! P.S. The tattoo parlor on the main drag didn't have enough business and went out of business already

10 - salon   6 Mar 2009 @ 10:24:44 PM 

@somervellres- Time for a town hall meeting again before decisions are made. I wonder, do you know exactly where this water park is proposed to go? Certainly it looks like it would be part of the land that Smith/Gosdin own, but where? For example, behind the Comfort Inn? On the highway?

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11 - somervellres   6 Mar 2009 @ 10:50:56 PM  The board will be making decisions at the next meeting, which will be the 1st Monday in April. Many of the board members are concerned about the waterpark, but all of the comments at the meetings have been positive. The board members need to here from the concerned citizens at the next meeting. If you drive up the new county road linking Texas Dr to Hwy 144, there is (or was) a sign noting the location of the proposed waterpark. It will be behind the Comfort Inn and is located on land that Larry Smith will be donating for the project.

12 - humanbeing   6 Mar 2009 @ 11:33:51 PM 

 I'd be donating that land, too, if I had mismanaged it in the abominable way the present owner has.  There's nothing else that he could possibly do with it.

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13 - somervellres   7 Mar 2009 @ 6:55:05 PM  I am sure that the purpose of donating the land is to increase the value of the land around it, also owned by Larry Smith. It will probably be used as a selling point for further development in that area.

14 - citizen2289   7 Mar 2009 @ 9:12:36 PM  I don't feel that Glen Rose can handle the tourist due to the fact that we don't have enough restaurants that are opened throughout the week which means that Granbury and Cleburne will be where families stay, eat and shop. In these times we should all step back and really evaluate the pros and cons of what we will be doing to our community.

15 - humanbeing   7 Mar 2009 @ 10:10:27 PM 

 Well, maybe Mr. Smith thinks that a water park close by would enhance the value of his wanna-be subdivision but it would be a total deal-breaker for a prospective buyer like me, if I were looking for property.

I also appreciate your comments, citizen. We are going into very challenging economic times and this will definitely impact probably all businesses here and surrounding counties.

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16 - somervellres   7 Mar 2009 @ 10:56:08 PM  Humanbeing-I agree with many of your centiments about the proposed waterpark. I hope that you can make it to the meeting and express these concerns. I think one of the major considerations of the board should be the fact that once this money is spent, the 4B money will be tied up for at least 10 years. And what happens if we build it and they don't come? The city will still have to maintain the thing and employee people to maintain it, where is that money going to come from? What happens then?

17 - salon   7 Mar 2009 @ 11:06:53 PM 

@somervellres-when I read the minutes about Mr.Gosdin saying that the budget contained no land costs, I didn't see anything about land donation. Is there a document that spells out that the land would be donated for this? We went driving up on Texas drive earlier this evening to look at the land up there- all denuded of trees and I assume you mean the land (don't remember seeing a sign) that is off the south as you're driving towards 144. I have understood that Stoneview was going to incorporate a gated chi-chi community, with the entrance off 144. Do those people want to live by a water park? One could almost see this as a clubhouse with swimming pool, except the addition of the Lazy River makes it a tourist attraction, with all the related hoopla. Maybe Stoneview is watching what happened in Arlington for cues.

I continue to wonder why the money isn't going for improvements to the city, like fixing the dang sidewalks, adding sidewalks, and Margaret's idea about having a nature walk that would go from Big Rocks up to Wheeler Branch. Of course, that isn't a commercial enterprise that makes money for some.

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18 - somervellres   7 Mar 2009 @ 11:21:32 PM  There are some limits as to what the money can be spent on. The money must be spent on things that can bring money into the community (not into one person's pocket, which is another comment all together). There is some wiggle room in that, for instance the River Walk qualifies because it will bring people from Big Rocks to downtown to spend money. The 4B money can be spent on improvements, if they can prove those improvements will bring money in. For instance, if fixing the sidewalk would bring in a new business, they can fix the sidewalk. In this case, it is also my understanding that the sidewalks have TXDOT issues as well as city issues. I can't read minds, but obviously Mr. Smith feels that donating this land for a waterpark will benefit him and his development in some way or he wouldn't donate the land. Maybe he thinks it will bring people into the Comfort Inn, instead of another hotel. I'm not sure, just injecting my common sense. I also don't know how the land donation would go, but I can ask those in the know that don't blog. I hope people will come to the next meeting and express their concerns. The board needs to hear input from the community and not just the meeting regulars! What happened in Arlington?

19 - humanbeing   8 Mar 2009 @ 10:47:57 AM 

Let's not forget that Oakdale Park has been wanting to sell and the city has considered this. The smart thing to do, I believe, would be to invest in enhancing our existing resources. Oakdale is a wonderful possiblity that would blend perfectly into Big Rocks, the River Walk and downtown. Also, people could walk or ride their bikes safely to Oakdale, where getting to Smith's property would be too dangerous. This would be a far better choice than some plastic water park.

I believe if we can just hold to working with what we have, emphasizing our existing resources, which the other communities in North Texas don't have, we can't go wrong. The more conservatively we can plan for our future, the better chance we have of maintaining the unique character of Glen Rose, while making intelligent economic and environmental choices.

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20 - salon   8 Mar 2009 @ 11:14:58 AM 

You make me wonder. Remember how people turned down the original 4b proposal and the scuttlebutt was that a lot of people didn't want to buy Oakdale Park as first project. I can't recall right now how much that would have cost to buy it, but what would the cost have been of buying that and updating it versus all this other? I spoke with a lady the other day who told me that she wanted the pool. I asked her what was wrong with Oakdale and she said that the place was run down and in need of repair-I don't know about the pool, but maybe it needs repair too.

And, heh, you mention that people could walk or ride bikes. Yes. On the SIDEWALKS that need to be made or maintained.

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21 - humanbeing   8 Mar 2009 @ 10:21:23 PM 

I heard the price of Oakdale has come down. And yes, let's bring back the era of the sidewalk, please.

Whether the city buys Oakdale or not, doesn't negate the fact that the water park idea is a poor choice.

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22 - OldBridge   14 Mar 2009 @ 2:42:51 PM 

We need to focus on enhancing the unique features here in Glen Rose: the river, the court-house square, Heritage park, and Big Rocks park.  The River Walk links all these resourses, and deserves continued attention. The approved River Walk proposal is only the first phase.  Three proposed projects are in later phases:  A low water bridge, a pedestrian bridge and sidewalks from Big Rock Park to the courthouse square.  The low water bridge would be near the square.  The pedestrian bridge would be near the weir.  With all 4 projects completed, you could walk down to the river bottom and across to Heritage Park, then stroll towards the weir.  Before getting to the weir, you can walk across the pedestrian bridge, then walk back to the court house square on the new sidewalks.

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23 - salon   14 Mar 2009 @ 3:02:51 PM 

@ OldBridge-I like what you're saying. Seems to me that Glen Rose has some beautiful unique historical features that should encourage walking around, enjoying the town. That's just not how it would be with the stuff behind the commercial complex.

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24 - humanbeing   14 Mar 2009 @ 10:38:33 PM 

On the one hand, the city has hired the community planning consultant group to help Glen Rose define the essence of our community and how to manage and restrict its growth but intends to proceed with the vote on this water park project, which will have a huge impact on our resources and identity, before the planning process has gotten off the starting line.

Is this the tail wagging the dog?

I was told the other day that Mr. Gosdin and his water park engineer, Michael Buckley, have sort of stepped into the River Walk project, uninvited, and changed some of the meticulous (final) plans put together by the project's planning board. Seems these two want more concrete and fewer permeable pathways (or something like that). Gosh, I wonder who wants provide this? This is inappropriate, to say the least.

There has only been one community planning meeting, so far, and the consensus that came out at that meeting was that residents want Glen Rose to hold onto its special character. I agree with you completely, OldBridge.

We have two weeks to get our letters in to City Hall with our opinions about this water park. I am adamantly against it.


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25 - salon   15 Mar 2009 @ 4:30:14 PM 

@HB-you raise a very good point. Why in the world go to the trouble to ask what will happen with city planning, especailly with all those pictures, etc if it doesn't make a darn bit of difference because they can't wait to find out the answers before rushing through with stuff like the waterpark.

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26 - citizen_x043   16 Apr 2009 @ 7:50:00 AM  There has been a lot of discussion about the purchase of Oakdale Park and for many years. Will the purchase of Oakdale by the City provide economic growth for the community? What I mean by this is; can the City do a better job of operating Oakdale that what the May family has done or another individual? The 4B and Council have both stated they would like to restore Oakdale to its pristine (restore the cabins, pool, skating rink, RV spots, etc…). Why have the Mays not done this? Why has an individual not done this in the private sector? Government control or involvement into private business is neither profitable nor fair to the taxpayers. The purchase of Oakdale would be an intrusion into the private sector. The business's that would be affected are the local RV parks, cabin rental business and to some degree the stores that sell RV supplies and groceries. The RV spots and cabin rentals are private sector business and the pool could be viewed as public sector business; but all together it is private sector. The City will be using the tax dollars collected from the local RV and cabin rental business to compete against these businesses. Would you want your tax dollars used to operate a business that competes against your business?

27 - salon   16 Apr 2009 @ 8:42:10 AM 

Citizen_x043-I would imagine that that was at least one of the reasons why the original 4b proposal, which had Oakdale as a first project, was voted down. Overall, though, we have a number of publicly run businesses or entities that taxpayers support that I wouldn't like to see go to private business. One reason is that when a taxpayer pays for something the entire public can use and enjoy, such as post offices, libraries, public hospitals, etc, there is also accountability *to* the taxpayer. You don't get that with a private entity. I have lived in a number of places where there was a public pool, including The Colony, and don't have a problem with tax money going to support such an entity. I also believe that, Glen Rose being a tourist destination, there's not danger of other businesses being adversely affected unless, for example, we end up building too many high dollar motels.

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28 - Citizen_x043   16 Apr 2009 @ 2:06:51 PM  Thanks for the response but no thanks! You did not get the point that was being made, instead you talked about post offices (federal government), libraries (county government), hospital (county government), etc... The point being, if you are in the RV or cabin rental business, would you want your local government to engage in business against you? This is called Unfair Government Competition Against Small Business. You have public goods/services and private goods/services. Public goods/services (Sometimes called social goods/services or collective goods/services) are products and services that provide benefit to the general public as a whole, such as Expo Center, Golf Course, sport complex, water park, farmers market and your examples of libraries, hospitals, post office, and pool; but might not exist in the market without the benefit of government subsidy and sponsorship. Private goods/services also provide a benefit to the general public, such as convenience store, grocery store, hotel, motel, restaurant, RV Park, bed and breakfast, bakery, car wash, etc…; but will exist in the market place without government subsidy and sponsorship. When a government agency enters into the private goods/services market place this is unfair competition. We are a small community. Most business here is considered small business. If local government is allowed to enter into the private sector this will financially hurt small business in our community and open the door for more government takeover of the private sector.

29 - salon   16 Apr 2009 @ 2:20:23 PM 

My point is entirely about the swimming pool, period. I would assume that other entities that currently exist at Oakdale would be taken into serious consideration as far as unfair competition in the private sector, but I have never assumed that Oakdale, once sold, would necessarily continue to be an RV park-surely that would be up to the city if they decided to purchase.

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30 - citizen_x043   16 Apr 2009 @ 2:35:40 PM  The Council and 4B have openly stated that they want to restore the cabins and keep the RV spots. But if they do as you suggest and do away with the RV spots and cabins, what kind of economic downturn will this produce to our community? We will lose a large RV park and large tax based business. Why not build a new pool and build a stronger economy and leave Oakdale for the private sector?

31 - salon   16 Apr 2009 @ 2:50:39 PM 

I am not suggesting anything besides advocating for the swimming pool. If Oakdale becomes a serious consideration, then you definitely should voice your opinion and reasons about the RV equipment. I don't have an opinion on that either way. I do believe that a new waterpark is a bad idea, would cost a huge amount of money, and probably be a loss leader in that it wouldn't pay for itself. If you believe that the private sector is a great idea, then suggest to Mr Smith that he come up with his own financing and create a water park on his property. Nothing prevents him from doing so, right now, without tax money.

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32 - Citizen_x043   16 Apr 2009 @ 3:10:20 PM  I am not talking about the water park. I am talking about the local government’s consideration of the purchase of Oakdale; this is an infringement upon the private sector of our community. This could lead to the downfall of local businesses. If you would like to discuss the water park I will do so?

33 - salon   16 Apr 2009 @ 3:16:56 PM 

The subject of this blog post is the water park, not Oakdale. However, again, since you believe that purchasing it would be an infringement on the private sector here, I sincerely hope you have written your concerns and objecttions to the 4b committee.

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34 - citizen-x043   18 Apr 2009 @ 8:58:32 AM  I would like to address one comment you made in the above minutes; “How come everything in this town that is publicly owned is always cash flow negative?” This is because you have public goods/services and private goods/services. Public goods/services exist with government subsidy because they cannot exist in the private goods/services. I have included a link to a pdf file titled "Unfair Government Competition Against Small Business", please read this and give further discussion (Maybe its own blog spot?) www.i2i.org/articles/PoliticsandGovernment/12-1993.PDF

35 - salon   18 Apr 2009 @ 11:03:17 AM 

CitzenX043-how about you pull out the part that is relevant to the Water park and quote it here (please no lengthy pages but something short and relevant) and how it applies. I have considered before my comment about what I will call Loss Leaders in the community, with regard to the economic assessment report that was commissioned by Gary Marks. The man who did the study gave some examples of public entities in communities that do not make a profit but nonetheless are a benefit to the community because they bring in other business.He mentioned then a case in Conroe of selling off a public expo center to the private sector, which then charged so much rent that it wasn't viable for them and had to close. I can see both sides of this, and with regard to the water park, I know that's one angle that is being pushed, ie, if we have a publicly financed water park, even if it doesn't operate at a profit and the taxpayers might have to kick in more, it will bring in more tourist dollars overall. The man further said, for example, that hotel rates in the area are some of the highest in the state (although perhaps that has changed since there are so many dang hotels being built here).

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36 - humanbeing   18 Apr 2009 @ 11:25:02 PM 

The question I keep asking is how much more will be enough? It's a valid discussion to debate what we're going to do with more and who is responsible for more and what will it cost for more if more is where we are going. I ask all of you, will more take us where we want to go? I don't believe it.

It's always about the money. There are things more valuable than money.

ps: Citizen: I haven't yet read your link but have always believed that our government and its policies have been anti-small business and private entreprenuer-ship. 

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salon > Quick update on this, via Pacer-Click on pic to see larger (Turk Case Update- Telephone Conference Hearing Set for March 8 2019 )

salon > Lance Been awhile. Send me an email at salon@glenrose.net with the names of who you're talking about, above. Also, the newspaper editor is no longer local, ie officed here, but the paper is run.... (What Happened to Jerry Jacene? )

LanceHall > I'd love to see the Hotel Guest books and see if Jacene's name shows up long before he officially *found* the tracks.  I'd like to know if the Visitor's Bureau has emails wit.... (What Happened to Jerry Jacene? )

LanceHall > I see the land or that part of it is now in the hands of Glen Rose's own Corky Underwood. Is Jacene still involved?   I had already informed the Visitor Bureau manager (who's.... (What Happened to Jerry Jacene? )

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