Letter To Editor – Council Chooses To Move Forward While Looking Back

Typewriter with paper reading "Letters to the Editor"

Over the last several decades Deer Park has lost several historic buildings – but there is now hope for one.

At the Council Meeting on April 19th the council directed that work continue on plans to remodel the historic City Hall building from 1911. While still years away from any construction several significant phases have been completed.

First, the building and the city’s needs have been assessed by a team of professionals. Since the building was nearly condemned in the 1960’s and parts have been off-limits for the past six decades there were concerns that no option to save the building could realistically be pursued. While there are grave concerns for the longevity of the building if no significant remodel is undertaken there are still parts of the structure that can be brought into the future with us. 

Second, the architectural team and the task force working behind the scenes on these plans presented their findings to the council and to the public. These discussions focused on listening to the public for guidance on whether we should demolish and rebuild or pursue a restoration and remodel. My personal observations, and the recorded comments, clearly show a strong preference for saving a unique part of our community’s formational years. 

Now that the council has chosen a path forward the next steps the city will take will focus on funding. The most likely outcome of those plans is that at some point in the next several years you too will be asked to vote on the value of history. 

What will our community choose? For sixty years we’ve ignored the issues or chosen to patch the problems with fleeting fixes. I believe we will echo this month’s city council choice and choose restoration, preservation, and a commitment to honoring our past while preparing for our future.

Caleb Stapp, member of the Deer Park City Council

Reprinted with permission.
Letters to the Editor are not edited or corrected for content or grammar. 

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