Splash Pad Plans Moving Forward

Splash pad planning moves forward due to Deer Park’s growth, surplus funds, and decisive actions. Inflation makes money spent now more impactful than those used later.

Surplus income for the City of Deer Park was just over 2.4 million dollars for 2022 due to a healthy growing city. Council Member Caleb Stapp presented a list of possible uses for portions of the money. During the following discussion, the list was narrowed to moving and upgrading the skate park or adding a splash pad at Swinyard Park. Because of preparation headed by Council Member Helen Dee Cragun was a deciding factor for the splash pad project to move ahead. 

The plans for the splash pad have been in place for many years, with occasional updates as laws and prices have changed. In the past,  the city has twice applied for grants but was not selected. Grants for recreational facilities and parks are mostly non-existent. A bond is the only other way to pay for a splash pad.

With the inflation reported at 7.1%, any funds stored in a savings account would lose buying power over time. Additionally, the surplus is in excess of budget reserve funds for each city department and the recommended amount in general reserve funds. 

The first step was a commitment to the construction timeline during 2023/2024 by amending the city’s comprehensive plan in a resolution. Despite years of work on the project and campaign promises, Council Member Cragun voted against the resolution. “I just can’t emphasize enough the idea of saving the money instead of spending it all over the place…for something we urgently need,” Cragun said regarding a portion of surplus funds.

  • Council vote was split  4 to 1 with Upchurch, Newsom, Stapp, and Diaz in favor and Cragun against.

Watch the video at the bottom or click a link to view a portion of the meeting that is interesting to you. 

Key Points:

  • 00:00 – Call to Order & Roll Call
  • 00:25 – Invocation & Pledge of Allegiance
  • 01:20 – Approval of Agenda & Meeting Minutes
  • 01:50 – New Business – General Fund Surplus
  • 31:45 – New Business – Storage Lagoon Compliance
  • 34:40 – Resolutions – Comprehensive Plan Amended
  • 38:50 – Consent Agenda
  • 39:50 – Council Member Reports – Jason Upchurch
  • 40:35 – Council Member Reports – Caleb Stapp
  • 41:20 – Council Member Reports – Helen Dee Cragun
  • 41:45 – Comments from Audience

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