Monday, December 18th, 2017

City boosts downtown projects

Efforts to revitalize downtown Clarendon were ratified and supplemented last week when the City Council blessed action taken by the Clarendon Economic Development Corporation and also authorized borrowing $350,000 for renovations to the Mulkey Theatre multi-purpose venue.

During their regular meeting August 10, city aldermen passed a resolution approving the CEDC’s August 7 action to borrow $650,000 on a 20-year term with the funds going to the city’s water recreation project and the Mulkey multi-purpose facility. The note will be paid for by economic development sales tax revenues that are already being collected.

The city council also approved a resolution authorizing the city to borrow $350,000 on a 20-year term secured by the Hotel Occupancy Tax, which is paid by lodgers staying in local hotels.

The combined actions of the city and CEDC will give community leaders $1 million for the two downtown projects. Half the money would be used for the pool project, which combined with other donations and pledges will more than cover a $500,000 challenge grant put up by an anonymous donor two years ago. That will give the city just under $1.3 million for the project, which puts it in a good position to apply for funds from the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department to bolster that effort even further.

The second half of the borrowed funds would put $500,000 earmarked for the completion of the Mulkey Theatre project, which will serve not only as a movie theatre but also as a multi-use facility for live performances, public meetings, conferences, and other activities.

Also at last Thursday’s city meeting, Jack Moreman and Dick Bode with the Donley County Soil & Water Conservation District addressed the board with concerns about the proposed location for the water recreation facility on city-owned land at Fourth and Kearney east of the Clarendon Post Office. Specifically, Moreman and Bode were concerned about possible flooding in that location.

City Administrator David Dockery presented information on engineering surveys and said that by the time flood water reaches the site of the proposed facility, the Post Office, the senior citizens building, and USDA’s own offices will be flooded as well.

Bode and Moreman expressed their support for the pool project, but also stressed the importance of maintaining levees south of town, which protect downtown from major flooding.

Dockery also updated city aldermen on the status of the USDA-funded water system improvement project, which is waiting for rights of way to be signed off on by all parties before going out for bids.

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