Council greenlights Jellystone project

Groesbeck City Council met Tuesday, Jan. 22, approving plans for a vacation park in Groesbeck and reimbursement agreements for water and sewer lines for the project.

City Administrator Chris Henson introduced Randy Sims, noting that he had previously approached the city with costs to install utility lines and connect to the city’s.

A seven-acre pond and a white sand beach with cabanas are part of the plan for Jellystone Park. Sims plans to use water wells for the pond. “What I want to buy is for general consumption,” he said. He estimates water consumption at between 8,000 and 15,000 gallons a month combined for those using RV services, and 18 public restrooms throughout the park. The park would remain open for the entire year.

“I understand possible restrictions to water due to drought,” Sims said. “I’d like to see it open by June 1 at the latest.” He also plans to contract out trash service as opposed to utilizing city trash services.

The council granted city approval to sell water and sewer services outside the city limits on FM 2489. Under the agreement, Sims would pay upfront for water and sewer infrastructure to connect to city lines. Council members approved measures for future water line and sewer line reimbursement, though a following request after completion will still require approval.

Sims estimates the park will greatly increase traffic and influx of consumers to the community.

Council members estimated annual water sales between $20,000 and $30,000 per year for the park.

Sims noted that the project awaits approval from the Public Utility Commission, though no obstacles are foreseen. Jellystone Parks total seven in Texas, with 82 across the country. Burleson and Tyler have parks.

“All of this is family-related,” Sims said. “During the summer, there will be a different type of activity each hour for children. We’ll have different themes every week.”

Sims anticipates 10 full-time employees, with roughly 50 parttimers. He anticipates younger workers could fill part-time roles. The Sims family trust owns the land, paying in part, and Sims paying the rest personally through Limestone Realty Company Inc.

The council raised the issue of security. “There are problems but they’re not huge,” Sims said. He gave the example of enforcing a burn ban in the camping areas of the park, requiring prior knowledge and manager intervention if rules are broken. Guests that don’t comply with rules will be asked to leave, with escalation to local authorities if refused. “That’s very rare,” he said.

The discussion turned to alcohol consumption at the park, with Sims open to the idea of serving beer and wine, though designated areas for consumption would be necessary. “There won’t be a bar there,” he laughed.

The council approved a resolution ordering the City Officers’ Election, to fall on May 2 this year. Council members approved. Early voting will be conducted at 106 E. Navasota Groesbeck between 8 a.m. and 9 a.m. Dates for voting include Monday through Friday, April 20, 21, 22, 23, and 24. Monday, April 27 and Tuesday, April 28 are additional voting dates between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. Three council seats’ terms are up, in addition to the mayor seat.

Council members also approved an interlocal cooperation agreement for dispatch services with Limestone County. “It is something that’s always been done,” said City Administrator Chris Henson. The state requires the agreement to show the city’s cooperation. He noted that Mexia’s dispatch service has combined with the county to make a central dispatch service. Council members motioned to approve.

Discussion moved to the retirement of Groesbeck police K-9 Opal, to be retired to handler Officer Martin. Henson stated that the dog was only four years old but suffered from arthritis in angled joints. Talks with the company that the department obtained Opal from indicated another K-9 will be purchased, at no cost to the city since the canines are rescues.

“This morning we had a traffic crash at the interpass,” said Henson, noting that a vehicle driven by an Austrian couple was clipped by a transport truck. “She spoke semi-fluent English and he did not at all.” Henson scoured the city for a German translator, with Councilman Mike Thompson successfully translating back and forth from English.

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Groesbeck Journal

P.O. Box 440
Groesbeck, TX 76642
Phone: 254-729-5103
Fax: 254-729-0362