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County to revisit state park pact

November 12, 2011

Howard County commissioners will once again consider an inter-local agreement with the city of Big Spring to lend fiscal support to the local state park, opting to go from a three-year renewal schedule to revisit the matter annually.
Both local governments have agreed to chip in $10,000 each — to be paid to the TPWD — to help fund the continued operation of the Big Spring State Park, which was targeted for closure by the state earlier this year.
According to County Judge Mark Barr, a previous version of the agreement — which called for it to be reviewed and possibly renewed every three years — drew fire from the court.
“The commissioners weren't comfortable with that timetable,” Barr said. “So we've decided to approve the same inter-local agreement, only on an annual basis.”
Precinct 4 Commissioner John Cline said he would like to see the contract be renewed once a year, a preference the remaining commissioners, including Precinct 3 Commissioner Jimmy Long, echoed.
“The state is going to take our money as long as we give it,” Long said. “We need to have some sort of timeframe before we approve this agreement.”
Officials with Howard County and the city of Big Spring stepped in shortly after the list of state parks to be placed on the fiscal cutting block was released earlier this year.

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