There’s no debate a new plaza and fountain outside Colleyville City Hall looks nice, but some residents are questioning if it’s worth the $2.7 million price tag.
“The fountain is beautiful,” resident Karl Meek said. “It looks nice, but I’m not really certain that brings anything to the city, except nothing more than a vanity project for the city council.”
Colleyville’s assistant city manager Mark Wood said the plaza project dates back to 1998 and was built with funds from a tax increment finance district established that year. He said it was slated to cost $2.7 million in 1998 and it came in at that cost 20 years later. The area includes a lawn and a structure that doubles as a stage along with a fountain.
“It’s meant to try and bring the city together,” Wood said.
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Wood said they received input from Colleyville residents who wanted a community gathering place, and hundreds gathered at the new plaza for a Christmas tree lighting last week.
Vanessa Steinkamp said she attended the tree lighting with her family and loved the idea of the plaza, but would have preferred that money going toward other issues first.
“My biggest issue is this seems like a luxury item,” Steinkamp said. “I would like to secure the basics first – sidewalks and connectivity to the park so my kids can ride their bikes to all the great amenities we have here.”
She said she would have liked to see the money put toward sidewalks, improving drainage issues that are plaguing the city and easing congestion along busy Glade Road.
Wood said there was money already allocated in the budget to address those issues, citing $23 million for road improvements, $3 million for sidewalks and plans to begin widening Glade Road in 2020.
“We’re not neglecting roads or water projects for a park, but they complement each other,” Wood said. “Park infrastructure is just as important as sidewalks and roads.”
“Bottom line is it’s just a basic difference of opinions on priorities,” Meek said.