Fair Park: Mayor Leads Discussion Before Thursday’s Vote on Historic Landmark

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DALLAS - The State Fair of Texas is just under two months away, but an important vote concerning the future of Fair Park is happening much sooner than that.

On Thursday, the Park Board will vote on a proposed Fair Park Texas Foundation management agreement, which would lead to Fair Park moving forward under private ownership.

On Monday, Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings provided details about the agreement. He was adamant that this wasn't a private takeover.  “A public-private partnership is one where two bodies work with each other, trust one another in the context of a contract," Rawlings said.

It's a matter of money. The city just hasn't provided enough to Fair Park. The hope is with private funding from the foundation, the historic park will see a vast improvement.

Critics of the proposed private ownership believe the deal will exclude revitalizing the neighboring areas surrounding the park, but Walt Humann, a member of the Board of Trustees for the foundation, wanted to dispel that notion. “New projects, including a premier signature park for the entire area. In addition , we recently suggested a family park that would be along Cullum Boulevard," he said.

City Council member Tiffinni Young was on-hand to express her full support of the partnership stating, “I, Tiffinni A. Young, as the commercials say, do endorse this message, I do support the public-private partnership. We know that it is necessary," she said.

It'll be up to members of the Park Board, and ultimately to the City Council, to decide if this partnership goes forward.