The Corsicana City Council granted a sixth extension to the Corsicana Water and Adventure Park during its Monday, March 9 session. Corsicana Police Chief Robert Johnson also presented the results of his department's Annual Racial Profile Report for 2019.
The City Council approved the request for an extension of the deadline for CWAP with the Texas Department of Agriculture-Office of Rural Community Affairs to June 15, with the expectation that CWAP will create the necessary jobs required to fulfill the contract and close out the project.
The City applied for and TDA approved a $750,000 reimbursement grant in September 2014 for infrastructure activities in support of CWAP, which was constructing a new water and amusement park in the city which would create 51 new permanent jobs.
The total amount of funds disbursed to the City under this contract was $603,462.74, the required number of jobs was eventually reduced to be created from 51 to 42 permanent jobs of which 51% were required to be held by low- to moderate-income persons.
Since then, the City has applied for five extensions on behalf of CWAP. The Council must request the extensions, but it is the City's only involvement in the project since rescinding its 5% limited partnership with CWAP in July 2018. The Council approved the fifth extension in June of 2019, however, the jobs created did not qualify under the terms of the contract.
In order to meet the stipulation of permanent job creation, an indoor trampoline park was added.
While the park is set to open by early to mid-April, John McClung, the CWAP general partner and park manager said he plans to finalize several additions before opening, including the completion of the parking lot and sidewalks, exterior and interior signage, the installation of a chairlift for handicapped guests, an additional restroom on the upper level, and a sprinkler system alarm.
The Altitude H2O section of the park will reopen in time for summer.
McClung fielded questions from Pct. 1 Councilwoman Susan Hale about filling all the job requirements and submitting quarterly reports with the Texas Workforce Commission.
McClung said TWC considered those seasonal jobs, which were not acceptable. The original plan to start pouring the foundation for the trampoline park by the end of May of 2019, was slowed by 47 days of rainy weather. McClung told Hale he intended to fill the required jobs in the month of May.
Local attorney Terry Jacobson stepped in the conversation, advising McClung to communicate directly with TDA so that both parties speak the same language.
“Are you going to get it open by April 15,” Hale asked.
“Probably so, yes.” said McClung. “First half of April. Sometime in there.”
“You understand that every single one of those things they have in the TDA request, if it is not met, it's done,” Hale reiterated. “They will not ask again.”
The resolution to give the extension to CWAP the park passed 3-2, with Hale and Pct. 3 Councilman Chris Woolsey voting against.
“I offered an amendment to the extension granted last summer which stated no further extensions should be considered by the city council,” Woolsey said in a follow-up statement. “It was my personal conviction to vote against this extension since I made a commitment to my constituents that no further extensions would be considered. Our goal moving forward should be to reduce the role of government, whether state or local, in private business so that we can avoid similar issues in the future.”
Before Council took a vote, McClung presented a slideshow of the upcoming Splashicana Altitude Trampoline Park's various amenities, with a new updated timeframe of when the park would open.
The 30,000 square foot facility will feature a variety of high-energy activities for all ages and abilities, including 11,000 square feet of indoor trampolines, climbing walls, inflatable obstacle courses, areas for dodgeball and basketball, two private party rooms, a lounge and viewing area, and 17 55-inch televisions. The installations have taken place over the last six weeks.
“I can say without a doubt that this is probably the most colorful venue in Navarro County,” McClung said.
At the end of his presentation, McClung thanked the the City of Corsicana and the council for their encouragement and cooperation for the project.
Chief presents racial profiling report
In the public forum, Chief Johnson shared statistics regarding the Annual Racial Profile Report for 2019.
The documentation defined for what information is required to be collected in this report: Gender, race, was race known prior to stop, reason for stop, street address or approximate location, was search conducted, reason for search, was contraband found or not, description of contraband, result of the stop, and was physical force used that resulted in bodily injury.
For traffic stops in 2019, a total of 7,682 were recorded, a reduction from 8,400 traffic stops in 2018.
Broken down by racial demographics for 2019: White – 49%, Hispanic – 25%, Black – 23%, Asian – 2%, American Indian – 0%, Middle Eastern – 1%.
Additionally, there were 5,093 verbal warnings, 2,287 citations issued, 671 searched (321 with probable cause, 350 with consent), and 302 arrests (170 drug arrests, one currency arrest, eight weapons arrests, 35 alcohol related arrests, and two stolen property arrests).
Chief Johnson closed his presentation by stressing the importance of participating in the upcoming 2020 Census.
This not only gives us accurate data,” Johnson said, “It also provides us with an opportunity to get additional grant money to help combat some of the crime problems that we deal with on a regular basis.”
The Council approved accepting a donation of .107 acres of property located in Block 64, Lot A. The property, located at the southeast corner of the intersection of First Avenue and Business 45 is an offered donation to the city with the ultimate plan to produce an entrance, similar to the setup of the intersection's southwest corner.
Pct. 4 Councilman Jeff Smith abstained from voting, citing a conflict of interest, as it was a property he had listed for some time.
City Council approved a Five-Year Tax Freeze for property located at 319 North Beaton Street in the Corsicana Downtown Revitalization District.Hale abstained from voting, as she owns the building.
The Council authorized the City Manager to declare two vehicles held by the police department as surplus and execute sale at auction.
City Council approved the appointment of the Election Judges, Alternate Election Judges, Early Voting Clerk, Early Voting Ballot Board, Central Counting Station Judges, and personnel for the City’s General Election to be held May 2, 2020.
Announcements for the public include:
Mayor Don Denbow reminded the public about the 2020 Census taking place, and that forms will be arriving in mailboxes as of March 12. Mayor Denbow requested residents take the survey, which can be completed online, by phone, or by mail. Denbow said it's important we get an accurate count this year.
Councilman Woolsey reminded the public that the groundbreaking for the new fire station will take place at 10 a.m. Thursday, March 19.
At the end of the meeting, Pct. 2 Councilwoman Ruby Williams thanked the community for its prayers during her illnesses, and that she's been doing great during her recovery.
Williams also took a moment to commend the fire department for sponsoring the breakfast at the Martin Luther King Jr. Center, saying it was a great turnout, and thanked them for coming.