The fate of Texas Amphitheatre will be discussed by county officials Monday, Nov. 18. The facility, which is county owned and operated, stages The Promise of Glen Rose every fall, but is otherwise rarely utilized.
While county officials called for proposals for lease or purchase of the facility last year, none were submitted. A second request led to the opening of two proposals Monday, Nov. 11, from The Promise board and local resident Jim Willis.
Somervell County Commissioners Court has called a special meeting, which will begin at 9:30 a.m., a discussion on potential lease of the amphitheatre is included on the agenda.
During budget planning for the current fiscal year, county officials said the facility would be shuttered at the end of October, following the end of the passion play's 25th anniversary season. The concern was that revenue generated from the facility - about $30,000 per year, from The Promise - is only a fraction of the cost to keep it operational. Due to declining revenues, commissioners said they favored closing the facility in an effort to keep taxes as low as possible.
At last week's meeting, Philip Hobson, president of The Promise board, said there is much excitement about the possibility to continue staging the production at the amphitheatre.
He also said the play experienced a great season. It welcomed sellout crowds and one night broke attendance records.
"Nothing like a going out-of-business sale," Hobson said.
The faithful flocked to the production, concerned the final curtain would be called in light of county budget concerns.
But Hobson suggested The Promise board would bring more business to the amphitheatre if the proposal is accepted.
"We all know the facility has been underutilized," he said, adding the organization was ready to reach an agreement. "We would appreciate a decision as fast as possible, as we also have a decision to make."
Other agenda items for the Nov. 18 meeting include canvassing of the Nov. 5 Constitutional Amendment Election returns and approval of joint resolutions for the March Republican and Democratic primary elections and interlocal agreements for May elections.