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October 8, 2004
Dried up Fountain and Dried up Pledges
One Village of Colleyville retailer is more than one year behind on payments pledged.
Before the dust was settled, in November 2002, on the new Colleyville City Hall and Library, thousands in "donations" were announced by ex-Mayor Donna Arp earmarked for a "fountain" in the walkway between the two buildings. The story and list of contributors was covered by LNO in 2002, Click Here.
Click on photos to enlarge


As of Thursday October 7th, the fountain stands as dried out as the pledge from at least one Village retailer.
The fountain was scheduled to cost about $140,000, plus the cost of the obligatory brass plaque with the mayor's name.

At that time there was no outcry, such as current Mayor Joe Hocutt's recent comments about funds for Pee Wee Football lights, that money, for example,  would have been better spent on library books.  In fact, then Councilman Joe Hocutt, was a $600 contributor along with City Manager Bill Lindley for $300 and Tom Miller, Chairman of the "Ethics Commission" and Village partner for $1,200.  

There were no public hearings or input on the concept, design, or how the cost of the unusual structured fountain would be paid.
 
The birth and design of the fountain was apparently known to only a few insiders of ex-Mayor Arp. In fact, prior to the groundbreaking, a letter from Arp stated the Library donors represented funds for "enhancements" to the Library "similar to the Colleyville Community Center."  However, fountains near the Center were pre-designed as part of the drainage retention requirements of both the city and the Town Center developer. In addition, unlike the previously publicly appointed Community Center committee, no such group was formed to get input and direct the utilization of the funds donated for "enhancements" to the library.  That role apparently was totally assumed by Arp who immediately went about putting the strong arm on numerous companies doing business with the city.

There was no mention of the fountain concept, at the groundbreaking. In fact, Arp had maligned the use of TIF funds that would have constructed a fountain on public property in the Village or Town Center.  In lieu of an above ground fountain in the Village for public view, the $7.5 million TIF funds was primarily for underground infrastructure.


Large donated checks representing Coca Cola, Baylor and HEB were displayed in March 2002, however, it was not disclosed the money would be used for a fountain or the funds were actually being financed by the city.
Unlike donor's funds that were transformed into a "naked tree sculpture/fountain", Colleyville Woman's Club President Cecilia Monacelli presented a check for $16,760.61 designated specifically to be used by  the Friends of the Library. The Friends of the Library have been instrumental in raising funds to enhance the library with more books and educational aids. The Woman's Club donation was not financed.

Sometime between March and September 2002, the design of a stark structure resembling a tree stripped of all its leaves and a financing scheme was apparently hatched.  Instead of what appeared to be funds donated to enhance the actual library, it was revealed the funds would be re-directed specifically to a fountain in the walkway between City Hall and the library.  In addition, the city would actually finance many of the donors for the next five years. The list of new donors involved a substantial amount of vendors doing business with the city, including IESI, the trash collector that had just recently replaced the ousted Trinity Waste Systems.  IESI pledged a staggering $30,000, the 2002 LNO article contains a complete list of donors. As important as the fountain concept, the donors, including Mayor Pro Tem Ginny Tigue and Mayor Donna Arp, would have the obligatory brass plaque with their names.

Click on photo to enlarge


The obligatory brass plaque went up with the fountain, however at least one "donor" is 2 years behind on payments.
An arbitrary number of $3,000 was established to get your "name on the plaque."  Arp and Tigue pledged $3,000 each. However, the City of Colleyville installed and paid for the $140,000 fountain  after being promised to collect only about $50,000 upfront cash.  The upfront monies grew to $75,200 when IESI paid a whopping $30,000 instead of stretching the contributions out for five years (which would be longer than their contract with the city). 

On the other hand, many donors, such as Ginny and Joe Tigue allowed the city to "finance" their donation, at no interest, for three years.  Some payments stretch out to September 30, 2006. 

As of Thursday October 7th, the Tigues had made their final donor installment payment, however, $14,250 was still outstanding that was due  September 30, 2004.

Among the delinquent "donor debtors" is Luxor Jewelers, located in the Village of Colleyville,  still owing $1,000 from September 30, 2003 and no payment this year either.  The developer of the Village also still owes the city $3,000 and is late on the September 30, 2004 payment according to public records.
According to documents obtained via Open Records request, eight "donor debtors" had not paid $13,250 in pledges due on September 30.  While some of the debtors, such as Baylor Healthcare, with $4,250 past due, are certainly low risk, staff time and expense will be required to remind donors to pay their bill.
Click Here for a complete list of "donor debtors" and payments as of October 6, 2004.


As of Thursday, October 7, 2004 not even the trickle of water that distinguishes the fountain was evident and the basin, with the exception of a small amount of standing water, was dry. In many areas, the $140,000 "sculpture" reveals unattractive signs of corrosion.

LNO has been told, since the debt owed to the city was acknowledged only by a letter from ex-Mayor Arp and there exists no contract or agreement, that the city has no legal standing to enforce the collection of monies pledged, Click Here to see Luxor letter.

While it is not clear why the "fountain" currently does not even have the heretofore trickle of water, it is clear that the dried up fountain may still cost the Colleyville taxpayers more money if pledges are not collected timely.

Ex-Mayor Donna Arp is currently the President of Realty Capital, the developer of the Village at Colleyville and another entity that has not paid it's September 30, 2004 obligation on time.

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