Members of the Tomball City Council heard from local BMX enthusiasts about the possibility of a proposed BMX park, during their regular meeting July 1.
The proposal came from John Purse and Mike McIntyre. Purse is a Tomball resident and former BMX national champion, while McIntyre is an architect that has designed several BMX parks around the country.
Before the meeting started a couple of residents voiced their opposition to the park, specifically its proposed location at the corner of Ulrich and Hufsmith roads, near the Little League baseball fields.
"The idea of a BMX park is great – I applaud the concept – but where we part ways is that I don't see it coming into the heart of Tomball," said Tina Roquemore. "There is plenty of country property around and it wouldn't cause any traffic or noise if they were out there."
Purse told the council that he wanted to see what the interest level was from city officials, but that all plans are still negotiable.
"None of these plans are final," Purse said.
Roquemore also expressed concern that the city had a proposal from a group two years ago that wanted taxpayer funding for a similar project. Both McIntyre and Purse said that isn't the case this time.
McIntyre added that the pair is looking for the city to donate land, but the funding will come from private sources and a fundraising effort.
"The most success we have had with fundraising is when we can say that the city is a partner with us," he said.
They added that a non-profit organization would be started, spearheaded by Purse, to run the park and that construction and insurance would be covered by the sports governing body, USA BMX.
McIntyre estimated that 4,000 people would come to the area for national events, while local events would draw in more than 100 families.
In the end, council instructed the pair to look at alternate sites and return at a later date to discuss them.
In other business, Public Works Director David Kauffman talked to council about a study they requested from TxDOT, looking into the feasibility of restricting left turns on Main Street.
After completing the study, Kauffman said that TxDOT noticed that the stoplight at Cherry Street and Main Street was out-of-sync and they reset it.
"They realized an immediate and significant improvement (in traffic flow)," Kauffman said. "TxDOT recommended no restrictions for left turns are needed at this time."
Council also heard a dispute from Weingarten Realty, developers of the Tomball Marketplace on the southwest corner of FM 2920 and SH 249.
The dispute is over an interpretation of the original agreement between the company and the city, which allows Weingarten to recoup some of its development cost by sharing sales tax revenues.
"The intent of that was a sharing of sales tax revenues to entice Weingarten Realty to develop," said Scott Hunsaker, who was representing the company at the meeting.
Weingarten was to meet several conditions regarding leased space, money spent etc., before the city was to begin reimbursing the company. Hunsaker said that due to the recession, those conditions were not met until sometime in 2012.
Hunsaker said the dispute lies with city staffers interpretation that the reimbursements were to start from the time the conditions were met, while the company contends the reimbursements were supposed to be retroactive.
The council went into executive session to discuss the matter; however they took no action upon return.