Cast Your Vote: Perryton Water Park

Early voting is now open, and election day is Tuesday for an issue related to renovating the city pool to include water park features. City residents are urged to vote on whether or not to authorize the Perryton Community Development Corporation (CDC) to use Type A funds for a Type B Project. We talked to David Landis, City Manager, about the proposed renovations and the item up for election. Here’s what he had to say.

What would the renovations include?
We would be renovating the existing swimming pool. It would include a new bathhouse and concession area. It would also include a dual slide—a circular slide that dumps into the pool. There also would be a water bowl that’s shaped a bit like a funnel. You climb up to the top and get in it; centrifugal force spins you around as you go down, and it gets smaller then dumps you in the water.

In addition, we would take out the old kiddies’ wading pool and replace it with an age-appropriate structure for toddlers. It would have the oversized buckets that fill up with water and pour on the kids, and it would have spray features.

We would also have a zero-entry area on the north end of the pool. We would expand the pool, so you could walk into the pool without going down steps. You could enter the water gradually, like walking into the ocean or lake from a beach.

Is this something other area towns are doing?
Yes. Years ago in ’98 or ’99, Sunray was the first town in the area to put in a water park. Since then Dalhart, Dumas, Borger, Pampa, and Liberal all have them. Our pool is 50 years old. It’s passed its life expectancy, and it’s time for a major renovation.

The CDC is wanting to invest $2 million in the project, but the citizens have to vote to allow that because it would utilize Type A funds for a Type B project. Will you explain that a bit?
In Texas, economic development corporations like the CDC are incorporated under two different divisions—4A and 4B. A 4A corporation creates and retains basic jobs and enhances bringing in outside dollars. 4B corporations include all the things in 4A and also quality-of-life issues—things like the Ballpark in Arlington. 4B can be used for sports and recreation and retail.

In 1994, we went to the voters, and the Perryton CDC became 4A for economic development. So in order to use CDC sales tax money for a recreation facility, the CDC needs voters’ approval.

If voters approve the investment by the CDC for the water park, what will the money go to?
It’ll be used for construction and development. The project will cost a total of $3.5 million. If the election passes, the CDC would put in $2 million, and the city would put in the remaining portion.

What are some of the advantages of having the water park?
It improves the quality of life in Perryton, and it attracts a bit of tourism. It would take advantage of modern water recreation facilities and bring ours up to date, both with equipment that people like to see at pools and a wider variety of recreation opportunities for our youth.

Because it’s a quality of life issue, it makes sense to use CDC funds. It’s similar to using CDC funds to renovate the activity center like we did a few years ago. When prospective businesses see modern recreation facilities, it’s an attraction to help draw them here.

What would the timeline be for the project?
Would hope for construction to begin immediately following the 2012 swimming season and be open and ready for business for the 2013 swimming season.

Would this require a tax increase?
No, this is not a tax increase. This is money already on hand from sales tax, and it is not property tax. The election is not to take property tax but sales tax that people that have already paid by shopping in Perryton. The money is already on hand. The city just needs the community’s approval to use it.

When and how can people vote?
You must be a city resident to vote. Early voting is going on right now from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at City Hall. The last day for that is this Friday (November 4). Then next Tuesday, November 8, is election day. Those polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. at City Hall.

If people have questions, who can they contact?
People can call me (David Landis), Jim Powell, or Katy Williams at 435-4014.

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