Upcoming parks survey, financial report heard

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by A.C. Hall

At their December meeting, the White Settlement Economic Development Corporation was addressed by Parks and Recreation Director Rich Tharp about the Park Recreation and Open Space Master Plan.  Tharp presented the board members with a look at the citizen survey that will be sent out in January.
“The last one was done in 2006,” Tharp said.
The survey will ask a range of park related questions as it seeks to gauge what services and recreational amenities are most important to the citizens.  Tharp stated that they hope to get a higher amount of participation because the survey will be available online as well as on paper and that the survey will be available in English and Spanish.  Once the results are tabulated, they will be presented to the EDC and will be used to help shape the future vision for the city’s parks and recreation.
As he gave his monthly report to the EDC, Tharp also touched upon the parade of lights that was held in early December.  Wyatt Drive Baptist Church put on the parade and Tharp spoke highly of the work they did.
“They did a really good job,” Tharp said.
He went on to add that he believes they’ll be putting the event on again next year.
Tharp also mentioned the upcoming low cost vaccination event being held on Dec. 19 at the White Settlement Rec Center from 10 a.m. to noon.  At the event, pet owners will be able to have their pet photographed with Santa Claus.
EDC Director Report
Economic Development Director Kyle Reeves gave his monthly report to the board and spoke about the new Scottish Inn hotel on Clifford.  He said that the owner is interested in adding a restaurant at the location.
“The parking’s already there, we just have to move forward with putting an establishment there,” Reeves said.
He said that the owner hopes to have a small dine in restaurant on the property and has meetings lined up that could lead to it.  It could also lead to a similar dine in restaurant being built at another White Settlement hotel owned by the same individual.
Reeves also touched upon contacts made at the recent retailer convention in Dallas.  He said he’s had meetings with people interested in building residential and commercial projects in the City.
“We had some very good conversations this month,” Reeves said.
As he closed his report, Reeves also stated that there’s still an interested buyer in the Graystone Apartments property on Cherry Lane that’s owned by the EDC.  A meeting is currently planned with that buyer.
EDC Financial report
Finance Director Phil Bray delivered the financial report for the board and once again had disappointing news to share about the sales tax.  Bray stated that the sales tax for the year was down 24% from last year.  Sales tax has been down for nine months in a row.
“I’m just hoping that this month or next month we’ll get some better news,” Mayor Ronald A. White said.