Here’s some informed speculation about TIRZ 12, the Lost Dog TIRZ.
I think it has something to do with that Great Wolf Lodge, which is rumored to be built on TIRZ 10 and 10a, by the freeway. Someone let the cat out of the bag too early, which is why the El Paso Inc. ran the story in one of the Whispers columns in print but then omitted it from their online edition.
Maybe Great Wolf wanted an upscale neighborhood closeby. Maybe one of the developers wanted the City to sweeten the pot in exchange for some of the land for Great Wolf.
That Great Wolf Lodge project has been in the works for a long time. Look at this story that appeared on KFOXTV.com more than three years ago, on May 7, 2015.
KFOX14 Investigates obtained records which show in November, the city spent around $600 for [El Paso City Manager Tommy] Gonzalez to fly to Dallas to visit sites.
The trip included a meeting with the Cowboys and a tour of the Great Wolf Lodge in Grapevine
The Great Wolf Lodge is a large resort featuring an indoor water park, restaurants and other family centered attractions.
It’s the kind of place Gonzalez said, lends itself to staycations.
“To offer unique type of attractions that are unique to this area. So they don’t have to go eight hours or 10 hours somewhere else to enjoy those same types of features,” said Gonzalez.
See, developing those TIRZs, destroying our trails and open space, is to save you the trouble of driving all the way to Grapevine to visit a water park. You were going to do that, right? Now you’ll just have to drive an hour three or four or five times a week to ride your mountain bike.
Half our City Council wasn’t in office when this plan was hatched. This harebrained scheme was well past gestation when they took the oath of office.
However, half our City Council was in on it. Presumably they signed off on the idea without informing their constituents.
And therein lies the problem with the lack of transparency in city government. If you’re going to run around making deals behind closed doors, you better be right. You’d think that the City would have learned that after the ballpark debacle.
If private enterprise makes a mistake, they suffer the consequences. But if government makes a mistake, they just double down on it and keep feeding it money.
Actions have consequences. Unfortunately, in El Paso, the people who take the actions just pass the consequences on to the taxpayer.