City Council to consider Oakdale Park bids

Staff Writer
Glen Rose Reporter
The City of Glen Rose received three bids for the potential sale of Oakdale Park.

The three bids the city of Glen Rose received offering to purchase Oakdale Park were opened on July 30, and the highest bid was for $1,500,050.

The City Council will have an opportunity to vote on whether to sell Oakdale Park during its regularly scheduled meeting this Monday, Aug. 10. The meeting is set to start at 5:30 p.m. in the City Hall.

The meeting will be open to the public, but COVID-19 precautions will be in place with facial coverings required, and seating will be limited because of the appropriate distancing.

That top bid from among the three sealed bids submitted was from the owners of Off the Vine RV Park in Hico, Philip Vasquez and his wife, Lucy Digiorgio.

The second-highest bid received was $50 less, for $1,500,000, from Thomas Carroll, owner of an RV Park in Keene. The third-highest bid was for $1,050,000, from the owner of Country Woods Inn in Glen Rose.

The city of Glen Rose obtained an appraisal valuing Oakdale Park at “an even $1 million” in 2004, City Administrator Michael Leamons noted.

In late 2009, the city bought Oakdale Park, which had been “an ongoing private sector concern since 1925.”

He noted that the city issued “approximately $3 million in bonds, which were used to purchase Oakdale Park ($1 million) and 6 acres of adjacent undeveloped property ($500,000), to renovate the park (another $1 million), and to build the Riverwalk.”

Leamons added, “The City went through the $1 million set aside for Oakdale’s renovation and began funding additional improvement projects from the City’s General Fund revenues. During most of the years the City has owned the park, the cost of day-to-day operations has exceeded the revenues brought in by the park — (and) those operational losses are magnified when the (plus or minus) $207,000 of annual debt service is added to the equation.”

Leamons noted that “a little over a year ago, a private investor asked if the City would be interested in selling Oakdale Park. After some consideration, the City Council decided to place the matter before voters, who on Nov. 5, 2019, voted 94 to 28 in favor of selling. The Council then decided to solicit sealed bids to be opened on April 3, 2020.

“Due to COVID 19’s disruptive effects on the financial sector, the bid was postponed until July 30. During the bidding process, the City sent out 88 bid packages. Three sealed bids were received. It is believed more bids would have been received had it not been for COVID-19.”

Leamons stated that the city of Glen Rose still owes about $2.1 million on the bonds that were issued when Oakdale Park was purchased.

“Recently, the Somervell County Appraisal District reviewed the appraised value of Oakdale Park, setting it at $1,495,447. Two of the bids that were submitted exceed that amount, with the high bid coming in at $1,500,050,” Leamons stated.

“Should the Council decide to accept the high bid, the City will have to come up with an extra $600,000 to retire the bonds. About $330,000 of the remaining debt can be attributed to the Riverwalk, so the City still owes about $1.77 million on the bond money used to purchase and renovate Oakdale Park.

“Regardless of whether the City Council decides to sell Oakdale Park or keep operating it, over the 10 years the City has owned the property, substantial improvements have been made and steps have been taken to ensure this historic property continues to be operated as a campground which will continue to attract tourists to our fair City.”