City exploring new funding options for Hawaiian Falls


by A.C. Hall

In a specially called joint meeting between the City Council and Economic Development Corporation, it was revealed that the city will no longer be seeking a certificate of obligation to fund the Hawaiian Falls construction.  A memo was given to council and EDC from City Manager Linda Ryan that detailed the reason for this change.  The memo stated that the Texas Attorney General was not in favor of a certificate of obligation being used to build a water park.  

“CO’s can only be issued if they satisfy the AG’s determination of ‘public purpose,’” Ryan wrote in the memo.  “The AG’s position is that the water park is more of an ‘economic development’ than a ‘public purpose’ project.”

Hawaiian Falls executives are aware of the change in funding, and there will be amendments added into the contract between them and the City as new funding is secured.

The memo states that a sales tax revenue bond would be the next best option to secure a low interest rate for the needed $12 million to construct the Hawaiian Falls project.

Two resolutions were unanimously passed at the joint meeting by the EDC.  The first was for a letter of intent approving proposed terms for financing a water park and adventure park.  The details of that letter of intent were not made available at this time.

The second resolution was directing publication of notice of projects and notice of a public hearing, which will be held on Sept. 26.

Once EDC passed these two resolutions, council then unanimously passed motions showing their support and approval of the two resolutions.

More details about the new funding options the city is seeking could be available at the Sept. 26 EDC public hearing.