October 8, 2004
Dried up Fountain and Dried up
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
Click on photos to enlarge
As of Thursday October 7th, the
fountain stands as dried out as the pledge from at least one
|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
donor's funds that were transformed into a "naked tree
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
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
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.
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
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
are certainly low risk, staff time and expense will be required
to remind donors to pay their bill.
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
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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