Perry: Deal Is Reached in Principle on Eagle Mountain Lake
Tarrant County, Water District, Trust for Public Land to Convert Land to Local Park
FORT WORTH - Gov. Rick Perry today announced an agreement in principle that will allow local entities in Fort Worth to purchase the 400-acre Eagle Mountain Lake site for a local park and the state to use the proceeds from the sale to purchase a much larger site for a state park.
"The bottom line is this: This transaction will help us create two parks where there currently are none," Perry said. "That is a victory for the people of Tarrant County, a victory for park enthusiasts all across Texas, and wise fiscal and environmental stewardship that the taxpayers deserve."
Working with Tarrant County, the Tarrant Regional Water District and the Trust for Public Land, a private conservation group dedicated to setting aside green spaces for parks, gardens and other natural settings, the 25-year wait to turn Eagle Mountain Lake property into a park will soon be over, Perry said.
The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) purchased the property in 1980, but it was never opened as a state park.
As of Tuesday, the Trust for Public Lands issued a letter of intent expressing confidence that it can raise the necessary capital to purchase the land from TPWD and turn it into a local park. Once the remaining details of the sale are negotiated, TPWD will use the money from the sale of the property to purchase a significantly larger piece of property for a state park.
Perry noted that these discussions have been ongoing for several months, and the sensitive nature of this kind of transaction prevented state officials from discussing it publicly for fear of disrupting the deal. Once the General Land Office and the Trust for Public Land complete negotiations, final details of the sale will be released.
"What we can say is this: Tarrant County residents and their neighbors will finally get the park they have long been promised, and in a state booming in population and development, there will be 400 additional acres of green space preserved for those who want to enjoy the quiet and beauty of Mother Nature," Perry said.