SAN BENITO — A proposed $11 million aquatics center is drawing mixed reactions across town.
During a town hall meeting Thursday night, McAllen developer Damian Guevara proposed financing the seven-acre water park, featuring an enclosed competition swimming pool that would include two water slides.
Guevara, with McAllen-based Avery Resource Consultants, proposed the aquatics center be located at the city’s new 18-acre South Park off South Sam Houston Boulevard.
As part of the project, the city would use the water park’s revenue to pay off the debt, Guevara said at the meeting that included city commissioners.
Commissioner Esteban Rodriguez, who called for the town hall meeting, said a proposed partnership with the San Benito school district could help field a swim team.
“This is something to bring to San Benito,” Commissioner Tony Gonzales said before the audience of about 75 residents at the city’s Community Building.
“If we don’t take a chance, we won’t do anything. We need the money.”
The city and developer would form a “public-private partnership (that) is a very effective way of funding projects, with the city putting no money down,” Guevara said.
Mayor Ben Gomez told residents the city faced challenges that include poor street conditions.
“We haven’t done anything here in San Benito — we need the revenue,” Gomez said. “If you want something like this, it’s going to require money. I think our streets need priority. I want a pool, too. I’ve got kids, too. But we have to look at the needs of the city. The streets are horrible. I have not seen the streets in this condition.”
Source: The Brownsville Herald