News Column

Commissioners delay vote on water park

July 15, 2014

By Mary Meaux, The Port Arthur News, Texas

July 15--A proposed water park for Beaumont is still on the drawing board.

Gusher Falls LLC attorneys are still reviewing an economic development incentive agreement which would place the water park at Ford Park, Fred Jackson, attorney to County Judge Jeff Branick, said. Commissioners now expect to have information from the attorneys by Tuesday. The issue will be placed on the agenda for next week's commissioner's meeting for consideration, County Judge Jeff Branick said.

Gusher Falls LLC is not, as was erroneously reported, part of Harvest Family Entertainment.

The incentive which Gusher Falls is researching includes a 35-year ground lease for an annual payment of $15,000, with an option to renew. The lease would be adjusted depending on the consumer price index and the lease amount won't increase more than five percent in any year. Property taxes will be rebated to the group for a period of 10 years and sales tax on tickets will also be rebated to them for a period of 10 years.

If approved, the water park will be located at Ford Park near the ball park side and visible from the interstate.

Last month county commissioners approved an incentive with Pate Development Co., a Wichita, Kan.-based company, to develop a hotel and convention center at Ford Park. The incentive is for a 35-year ground lease with a 35-year renewal option. The lease will cost the company $25,000 per year on the first $250,000 of net hotel income and an additional $25,000 per year for every year the hotel's income exceeds $500,000, according to a story that ran in the June 25 edition of The Port Arthur News.

In addition, the county will rebate hotel/motel taxes due to the developer for a 15-year period and ad valorem tax payments for 10 years.

As a condition of the letter of intent, the developers will be required to use local labor and vendors and to purchase local supplies.


Twitter: MaryMeauxPANews


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