Recent assertions surrounding the Stephenville City Council’s consideration of the feasibility of a multi-purpose center are false and misleading.
In a published letter, Mayor Kenny Weldon and I were imputed to have been at meetings where consultants met with focus groups “promoting their ideas to be included in the study.” I was neither invited nor did I attend such meetings. My participation in this process has been as a citizen responding to the Chamber of Commerce’s online survey that was part of the feasibility study.
In addition to my involvement as a local citizen, as a city council member I have attended all of the open meetings and workshops related to the proposed multi-purpose center.
The meetings the consultants held with community groups were to obtain diverse feedback to determine local needs and wants. Residents and business owners were invited to voice their opinions about the prospective project. Stakeholder interviews were also part of the feasibility study.
In the published letter, a claim was made in regard to “the integrity of the process itself.” Such concerns are false and groundless. This entire process has been completely transparent and available for the public to participate—online or in person. To question the integrity is absurd and malicious.
At this stage the proposed multipurpose center is envisioned to include the following: a new library, a new senior center, a conference facility, and indoor recreation facilities. Other amenities that may be included will be assessed by local demand.
Because of its proximity to the airport, the recommended location on Highway 67 is vital to the success of the effort. Additionally the land adjoins undeveloped city-owned property which will reduce the cost. The study findings reveal that this project will be a catalyst for economic development in Stephenville and the surrounding area.
Claims that this project will be a burden for the taxpayers are also false. The city cannot borrow the required funds and voters likely will not approve a bond issue to do so. Proposed funding for this project is anticipated to come from private investors and contributors. The feasibility study reveals that the establishment of a tax increment reinvestment zone as part of a financing strategy will provide additional and dedicated funds for infrastructure and encourage growth.
Information regarding the Stephenville multi-purpose center feasibility analysis can be found online at: http://weblink.stephenvilletx.gov:8080/weblink8/DocView.aspx?id=84697&dbid=1Stephenvilletx.gov
Mayor Pro Tem
Council Member Place 4