Video-4b On Oakdale Park Plans That Were Presented by Bud Surles (May 4 2010)Somervell County Salon-Glen Rose, Rainbow, Nemo, Glass....Texas


Video-4b On Oakdale Park Plans That Were Presented by Bud Surles (May 4 2010)

5 May 2010 at 10:31:11 AM

Full audio of meeting here

Rough transcript

Best- Comments about not wanting to move the cabins, why is there a parking lot for Big Rocks Park by the pavilion, closing road so that kids aren't crossing to playground. Miller: I don't know that this is the forum to do this in, till city council takes the action (to have a public form for citizens comments).  George-is council looking for input fro the council or the public or from us? Best-the public.

I don't believe the city council has arranged to have a public input meeting yet.

George-I think we need to have some discussion. Bryant- million dollar project. Huckaby-he and I talked afterwards, he said he misspoke... i've got some people working now to come up with what a realistic number should be.

So. You have a man who creates a plan, and when asked, says it will take around a million bucks to do the pads for the GIGANTIC RVs. A man who says the plan is engineering ready but which plan has zero engineering or construction plans. A plan without a topology design but which topology design the instructor from Tarleton found right away at the City. Surles *misspoke*?

Bryant-one of my concerns was just the amount of parking lots. Did he get a chance to visually walk Oakdale before he did this? Huckaby-he was out there numerous times. Bryant-he's taking out a lot of trees from every parking lot and 2 of the white cabins. Huckaby-I want to get some photographs but... I was looking out there Saturday and it's a mess the way people park., one cabine 3 cars parked ever which way.If we're going to do these events with thousands of people, we're going to have to have parking lots, it's going to have to be organized,.. I"m a little befuddled. We hired a guy that's one of the tops in the nation in this, by the time we're all said and done that may have just been a waste of money.

Tops in the Nation? How, exactly, did Mr Huckaby find this person? Did he know him before? Did he google *RV Parks* on the internet?  WHere is the statistic that shows Mr Surles ratings compared with other RV park developers,since that was apparently the criteria.

Bryant-the way I understood it was we were going to renovate the park and from what I'm looking at here we're basing it on more of an economic development as far as how many RV people we can get in instead of continue with the historic part of the park. Huckaby-well, one issue is going to be, I think everyone agrees that they want this to cash-flow, want it to pay for itself.

Who says that ONLY way for it to pay for itself is to repurpose it into an RV park for gigantic RVs?

Every RV space you take out is going to lose 3-4 thousand dollars per year in revenue. Miller-I also don't think anyone would dispute that the current RV spaces are no good.  What is currently there can't be utilized by a large number of new RVs... Huckaby-most of them can't be used at all, you'd get electrocuted if you try to plug in your electric and your sewer..Best-don't take this as criticism, I think you guys made the right choices to go from 260 to 100 spaces. I don't see thousands of people being able to fit on there for any particular thing so I don't think thousands is even in the scope but I know personally on the parking lot, I would hate to see that parking lot in front of Big Rocks, it's such a beautiful view

Thank you, Darrell. It's amazing to me that anyone wants to cut out that beautiful green space in front of the pavillion and put in a parking lot that isn't EVEN for Oakdale Park. It's my understanding that the ONLY park that the City of Glen Rose owns, before Oakdale, is the green park at City Hall. Big Rocks is a LEASE and does NOT belong to the city.

Miller-in some ways I disagree with you, people park on the street and almost create a public safety hazard because they block the street. Huckaby-a lot of thought behind that parking lot.  Miler-Even if Big Rocks parking is not full, people will still park there on the street.... city ordinance saying You can't Park here on the street. Huckaby-how many spaces for that parking lot.  40 spaces.

Bryant-Karen, you might know the lady's name, mentioned that we may not be able to do anything until we take it to the state (Huckaby interrupts) Well, we're pursuing that.

Why is Mr Huckaby, who clearly wants to rush through the RV park, the one calling up about the law on preservation. Why is not Karen Richardson a co-person doing this?  I hope someone else also makes this call.

Bryant. So we can make all the effort right now ... council recommends that we wait till we hear from them. Stricklin. We can probably relieve that Big Rocks parking area, water district said we can use that big open lot they have. .. could get at least a dozen , that would be on the same side of the street.

George: Do you have some frustration with the developer? Huckaby-I have no frustration with the developer, my frustration is that he came back with this plan and all of a sudden we're, by the time we're all said and done, we'd been better off not to get the plan. Best- We had nothing to start with and I think it's okay for us to have a critical eye to it which applies to our community so

Maybe, then, there should have been some coordinated, open effort that included all the citizenry, instead of a half-baked $10,000 plan for gigantic RVs that also takes out a bunch of park space for parking lots.

Huckaby-well, like I say, he's the top in his field .. George. We need to set some dates and prioritize. WE can't tackle the whole thing at once, don't  have the money to do eveything we want to do. ... build up our cash again, let this thing start making some money Huckaby-Well, the number one priority needs to be the new RV spaces.

Why? If, for example, Oakdale Park was more of a place for tenting and cabins, with other activities that BROUGHT people to Oakdale, people would get used to that new way.

Bryant-well, what about here we've got places that aren't accomodating the RVers that we have... electricty and plumbing definitely hit code, that's gotta be priority. Huckaby-but those RV spaces would have to be completely redone in the long run. George-Well, we may have to only do 50 and try to do this in stages. I just think we're trying to bite off more than we can chew. Huckaby-part of the thought process with those new RV spaces is that's just raw land, lot easier for electrical plumbing, smaller RV spaces major major job. Bryant-we need to keep in contact with the preservation board, no one has contacted them re: the white cabins. Huckaby-I wasn't aware they were going to be replaced until they tore the windows out of that one cabin.

Yeah. So why didn't anyone know? I think the guys working on it are doing a great job, but who's in charge, anyway? Shouldn't it be before anyone makes changes that they are APPROVED? And preferably by a committee that includes people from the preservation committee?

Bryant-who's researching the state Huckaby-I'll put a call into the historical commission.

Again. Someone else also needs to put in that call that doesn't have gigantic RV park flashing in the brain.

George-Are you kind of the lone ranger in this? Huckaby-No, Ronald Bruce and Moose are overseeing the construction. George-I mean, do we need to have a committee with citizens, board members Huckaby-I think that's what the city council is going to do. ... we went before the city council in about December or January and laid out the steps we wanted to do, like refurbishing the cabins, the skating rinks and the office and they gave it a blessing. This right here is the next phase. .. check what the historical aspect is going to be, check the costs. George-for me personally I'd like to see more of a prioritization type listing. Huckaby-that's pretty much what we've got. The priority was the refurbishing of the cabins, getting this plan done, redoing the skating rink, and then the next thing we discussed was the new RV spaces.

At what meeting did THAT become the priority?

Oldenburg-where do we stand on the skating rink? Huckaby-that's part of the problem, Oldenburg- agree we need to prioritize, set a goal, reasonably soon, we've spent a lot of money. .. Huckaby-there's too many people involved. we had the hearings with the 4b, we had the hearings with the comprehensive plan, went through getting approved by 4-b, approved by city council, design committee, we all sat down and prioritized, that's what we gave the park plan. and now all of a sudden we're back, is it the city council's decision, 4b, need to get a committee of people together? and its' going to get real frustrating for us because we're trying to get it done. City needs to say somebody's in charge and do it.

No. The problem is that not enough people have been involved COORDINATING this.

George; Help me understand this a little bit better Darrell. If we have a project like this, should it not be the 4b's responsiblity to kind of oversee the project and oversee the funding of it but get the approval from City Council? Best. If you look at how the projects are intended under 4b you're exactly right. Projects are brought here, we analyze and say whether we want them to do or not and then we go to city council to see if they will approve of spending the money because the money is vested in the 4-b corporation. Our responsiblity is to spend it wisely according to what the plan is. In philosophy you're exactly right. Oakdale Park, though, is a bit of a strange animal because we didn't have the processes in place, you know, the cart was way ahead of the horse. We decided to buy it and then we went to figure out how we were going to do it. Disconnect. But in general, a 4-b project should be under 4-b. Miller: I have been to several cities where the 4b is merely a funding mechanism. 4b funds it, all the day to day operations , funding totally done by the city, 4b's a funding mechanism for these projects and they're not truly run by the 4-b. Overseen by the city. Huckaby- comptroller- ONce the 4-b signed off on the project, that was pretty much their involvement and that the city's obligation is to carry through on the project and account for the money spent.  Bryant-city approves the money. Miller-Cities I've audited-Cleburne, Grandview etc that's how they've done it.  Day to day operation, construction, planning, none of that has set with 4-b. George-I have no issue there with that, no ego here. .. probably too many chiefs here, too many hands in the pot making too many decisions. Bryant-the 2 areas of confusion is :Is it going to be an RV park or are we preserving Oakdale? When we discussed over here (Prkyryl?) I don't ever remember it was going to be all RVs, there was going to be other areas for playgrounds or entertainment areas.

Yes. What about the people who LIVE HERE?

MIller-his question right now is who's head? City Council or 4b? George: I think you might a great point, Chris. I don't think we've decided is this preservation or is this true economic development in building an RV park for business. We're spending so much time and effort on both and we don't know really .. no balance. Huckaby-part of the problem is that Oakdale Park is an RV park.  That's the main source of revenue for the park and always has been. Park was in such disrepair, poor condition, so outdated, that if we continued down that road, this would be a money pit. To get the RV people there, circle in and circle out, if there's going to be a cash flow, bring Oakdale Park up to date and otherwise we're stuck in a time warp. To bring in these modern RVs, so big now, need a certain size space, certain roads, certain utilities. Bryant-I can see utilizing some of the new area for the bigger ones but i can't see .. you can see all the parking lots from one point, just imagine all the cars. Smaller RVs and popup campers in old park. Back to parking lots -it's a multiuse facility Best-if you have a maxed out tent and maxed out rv area, how many people do you assume that will be able to support? Huckaby-that's a question we haven't answered yet.

Richardson-from the Preservation Board's perspective, too many chiefs? I say too little. Billy came to us in February and he did say that they would be RV but the old cabins would be preserved and such and that's the last conversation and involvement and yes, we were concerned when we saw the plan. That's the first we saw of it was at the council meeting-we were not involved  We secured money to get a nomination for a listing in the National Register. Oakdale was a motor court, an RV park of the 50's not of the 2010s. But to the smaller popups and the tent camping, absolutely, it could all work, I see a conflict of uses-if we just commercialize it as a modern RV park, then we're going to lose some of the historic integrity, we're going to lose the nomination, a decision needs to be made-doing both without a clear concise plan of action on how to accomplish both and make money, that's what I see as lacking in the city and the 4b, the whole planning process

I agree. If no attention is going to be paid to the aspect of it being a historical park, why did the City approve funds to have someone help Richardson write the grant?  But who SAYS it has to be a state of the art RV park, INCLUDING the Prykryl property?

. I see a conflicting and lack of cohesion as to the common goal. Best: That's what I did like about this guy's plan is that he put all the new stuff in the place that was already new part and hadn't really affected Oakdale itself except as moving the cabins. Richardson -taking out the 1940's playground. Huckaby-the 1940's playground is already gone-Scott May took all that with him. Bryant- the 40 foot entracne way with walls wold have to be taken down the plan still shows the trees which makes it look like they're still going to be existing but when I walk through and look at this map, there's going to be 20-30 trees out.

Destruction and retooling of the entrance in order to accomodate gigantic RVs?

Huckaby-end of the day the easiest thing would be for me to take out all the RV spaces and just make it a public park. and it would be a huge headache gone from me. But I think for us to do this and do it right, we're going to have to make some hard decisions. IF you want to keep it like the old RV park it is, you might just as well take the RVs out.

Yeah. Okay. So why not?

Bryant-I think until we hear from the state, we can't really do nothing. Huckaby-right and I hope to have an answer for them next week. Bryant-I have an issue with all the trees that will be gone. (in the plan) when you're pulling out of here, the guy who developed this said he might have to shorten this because they might not be able to make the turn. HUckaby-parf ot the problem with those trees is so many of them were allowed to grow up in the fence line. I think we can work around those because they're in a pretty concentrated area. Oldenburg-on the new part that they're talkinga bout putting in, that would in no way affect the historic status of Oakdale pakr would it? Richardson. No ma'am. .. keeping the architectural style the same, size of new contstruction. Huckaby-on the architecture, none of the buildings exteriors have been changed except for the ones where they tore out the windows. MIller: City Council has tabled this issue. Best -fair game now that on a piece of paper. ... (To Miller) What you would like the 4-b board to do is divorce itself from Oakdale Park. Miller: Yes. Huckaby- What needs to happen is everybody get in the same room at the same time. JOnes. What's your time frame to do the RVs. Huckaby- as soon as possible. Real hinderance not having good RV spaces.

Huckaby-$2000 water bill.

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