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Hogan Park renovations have community asking questions

Right now, $38.5 million of the $55 million has been raised.

MIDLAND, Texas — In 2021, plans for a Hogan Park renovation were released.

Updates in the form of a splash pad, outdoor grass amphitheater, turf baseball, softball, soccer and football fields and a 7-mile trailhead were included. The project being spearheaded by the Midland Quality of Place Conservancy.

"We're doing this to help better Midland and to create fun and exciting places for family and friends to be able to go and hang out, much like Centennial Park has done in downtown Midland," said Jeff Beard, a member of the board of directors for the Midland Quality of Place Conservancy.

The City of Midland has already agreed to pay $10 million of the project, with the rest being funded by private donations. The whole project is expected to cost $55 million, and right now more than half has been raised.

"$38.5 million total, $28.5 from private donations," said Beard.

Recently, people in the community have wondered, if more money is needed to be raised, will that fall on the Midland taxpayer?

"There was some concern about what do we do with this, and I get that this is a private-public partnership, and as a taxpayer we want to make sure that those funds are appropriately spent," said Kevin Dawson, executive director of Maybe in Midland/Odessa. "And so where we go from here with that will be a different conversation, a conversation that takes some finesse to get there, but I think overall people see the value in redoing Hogan Park to create a new place for people to gather."

Beard reiterated that there is no plan for the cost of renovations to fall on the taxpayer.

"The goal of this to not fall on the taxpayers at all, it's quite the opposite," said Beard.

Some of the concern comes from the $2 million it will take the city to maintain the park.

"The city takes $10 million and puts it into the park," said Beard. "The conservancy then goes out and brings in another $45 million, so the city's getting a $55 million park, and they're going to pay $2 million a year, or as I said earlier, $1.2 million more than they already pay for the park as it sits to get a facility that will bring more dollars to the community."

The project was originally expected to be finished in 2024.

"It's hard to say when our actual finish, that's our hope, and we hope to start by the beginning of next year, is kind of the goal that we've put out there," said Beard. "But we're not going to start until we get to our raised goal."

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