Stop Wichita Falls Proposition D: Municipal Government Center

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On May 5th, the City of Wichita Falls will be voting on a Proposal to demolish the buildings of 16 businesses to put up a new centralized Municipal Government Area. This area will include a new office building for the police department, fire department and city administration. Many of the reasons that the city is proposing to have this new center built are valid. It is unfortunate that the staff is overcrowded and the buildings that the three offices are currently in are in serious need of repair. No one is arguing that. However, the area that this new center has been selected to be placed in is displacing if not destroying all the businesses in the area. Most of these businesses have been here for generations or are newer businesses that have spent time and money making these buildings into their own, doing our part to contribute to the beautification of downtown. And what will we be offered? "Fair Market Value" for our properties after the city has been decreasing the value of our properties over the last three years. Our local family-owned businesses are not the only ones that will be affected. Each and every citizen of Wichita Falls will have tax rates increased to fund this $77,000,000 project. The building of this new municipal center will most certainly be 'nice' for the staff that will occupy these buildings but it will not do anything for the city. It will not bring in any new businesses but destroy established ones who bring in citizens from surrounding cities.It will not create any jobs but put those who are working for this business out of work and possibly even close these businesses for good. It will not address real issues within our city such as the deterioration of our school systems and water supply. These are real issues that turn off new corporations and citizens from moving into and building the city. And as far as the beautification of downtown, what will happen to these buildings? Become vacant and dilapidated themselves? There are many other areas in the city that this project can be built and selecting this location is not going to benefit the city as a whole and will only hurt an already struggling economy. This is a clear-cut case of government over-reach. If we do not speak up as a community, the government will take what they deem as there own with little compensation to make it possible for the small family owned businesses that built Wichita Falls to survive. This is not the first time that businesses and families have been affected by the cities upgrades. In 2003, the building of the Multi-Purpose Events Center, as well as the Bus Stop by Sheppard Air Force Base as early as 2017, are just a couple of examples. These destroyed and displaced businesses and homes with only "fair market value" given in hopes that it would be enough for these families. It is not and will not be enough for this project. We had not even been notified or the proposed bond had not even been addressed with any of us for how this would affect the businesses that would be torn down. Don't let the city destroy the heart of Wichita Falls - Join us in speaking out to keep our businesses alive!