Foundation that funded old DHS demolition wants money back

By: KXII Staff Email
By: KXII Staff Email

DENISON, Tex. -- The foundation that helped pay for the demolition of the old Denison High School wants their money back.

The Smith Foundation wrote a letter to the city of Denison asking to be refunded the $300,000 they originally gave.

Foundation members say the grant was specifically meant to be used for the complete demolition of the old high school.

Since the original 1913 structure is still standing, they say the money was not used for its intended purpose.

City officials say they are working on the refund process.

Denison council meets

Tax revenue is on the rise in Denison, and city leaders hope to lower the tax rate by two cents.

The city council held a special meeting Wednesday night. It's the first of two public hearings on the issue.

Texas law requires cities to give public notices when tax revenue increases because the state considers increased revenue as increased taxes even if the rate hasn't been raised.

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  • by A friend of Denison Location: Sherman on Sep 5, 2007 at 04:06 AM
    I've never seen so many people jealous of one person. Do you not have a clue that when you post comments like "let Joe Pollaro come up with money out of his own look very, very jealous and sad. Your jealous of success and he is a genius in the business world. Denison has made a move backwards in deciding to continue demolition on this piece of history. Just like the old saying can't fight city hall or in this case, people with no vision that sit on your city council. Joe, you fought the good fight!
  • by Tommy Location: Denison on Sep 1, 2007 at 07:15 PM
    Two Words.........Katy Depot.....Katy Depot....Katy Depot.....Katy Depot....
  • by Ralph Location: Denison on Aug 31, 2007 at 03:35 PM
    Dear Anonymous, I never suggested the grant of the $300,000 wasn't made, nor have I suggested anyone was making it up. Yes, the SF did give the CITY $300,000 to help pay for tearing down the school. However, the city has not used any of that money. Yes, they (the city) sill has that money. The cost of what has been torn down is more than covered by the other $200,000 they received from another source. In view of this, if the SF wants their money back, the City should refund it. The save the school group has not expressed any objection to the city paying back the SF. My point is that any suggestion that the save the school group should pay off the SF on behalf of the City is absurd. To do so would essentially result in the City reaping a $300,000 windfall for having done nothing. Whether or not the SF ultimately donates anything to rehab the building is soley at the descretion of the SF. No one will be holding their breath one way or the other.
  • by Anonymous on Aug 31, 2007 at 12:24 PM
    O really. So they just made up the part about giving the city $300,000? If the city didn't spend it then it means they still have it. Smith foundation hopefully won't donate any money to the restoration cause because they are about projects that benefit the city, not save a building that some people like.
  • by Ralph Location: Denison on Aug 31, 2007 at 10:41 AM
    There is no indication whatsoever that the save the school group has intervened in the Smith Foundation's donation/refund issue with the City. That is strictly a matter between the SF and the City. The school group has not requested any $ from the city, and has in fact, offered to pay for the completion of the demolition if they do not meet their restoration goals. The group and the city have been in negotiations to come up with a contract that is acceptable to both parties. Unfortunately, the City keeps raising the height of the hurdles that they expect the group to jump. In order to complete renovation, this group may very well approach the Smith Foundation and many other foundations, about making contributions. Meanwhile, if you think the SF should get their donation refunded, talk to your councilman or the Mayor. The school group hasn't received any SF money, and the City has yet to spend any of it in the manner in which it was intended.
  • by Anonymous on Aug 31, 2007 at 08:46 AM
    Smith foundation has done more for this town than anybody. We're so poor we can't even think about voting for bonds to fix our town up. Who has donated the most money to our parks & other projects. While our schools superintendant has something shady with putting new roofs on our schools every year, the Smith foundatin has paid for tennis courts, track improvements and donated to indoor practice facility. Find out why we are getting our schools roofs replaced every year instead of wasting millions. They can do whatever they want with their money thats the point. They donated to tear down the eye sore and it didn't get done. They should get every dime back and then our "historical" folks need to go present a plan to them of why they should donate to the cause. Great more library talk.Our current library was built for a population larger than we currently have, also library's use are down b/c of internet. Don't be surpirsed when eventually that taxpayers will be footed with some expense.
  • by Po' Girl Location: Po' house on Aug 31, 2007 at 07:18 AM
    Hey, I need money too. Throw some my way.
  • by shelley Location: denison on Aug 31, 2007 at 05:52 AM
    they are trying to save a part of our HISTORY. if left up to the City they will tear it down. all they care about is money. they don't give a damn if that building means something to MOST OF THE PEOPLE IN THIS TOWN! I'm sick of all the lies and cover ups. TELL THE TRUTH DENISON! YOU JUST DON'T CARE!!!!!!!!! AND THAT MAKES ME SICK!!!!!!!
  • by Ralph Location: Denison on Aug 30, 2007 at 09:10 PM
    If the city council discussed this issue openly instead of behind closed doors, we would all be better served. Instead, most folks have to rely upon rumor and sketchy news stories for their information. The Smith Foundation situation is solvable without the use of tax $ and without using any of the $ that has been raised to save the building. The city has not spent the $ the Smith foundation donated. Therefore, the city should just give it back. Remember, the total tear down cost was $500K ($200K of which came from another source). The bill for that which has already been torn down (the wings) is well under $200K. Regarding a new library, the proposed location involves the Central Ward school site, not the old DHS site. Of course, the library plans, like so much else here in Denison, have not been disclosed to the general public. To those who think the $ raised to save the building could be better spent, I suggest you launch your own fundraising campaign for the cause of your choice.
  • by A Thinking Taxpayer Location: Denison on Aug 30, 2007 at 07:51 PM
    The obvious solution to all this is to combine the Old School with a new library/community center. Either put the library in the renovated school or put a new library building on the west end of the site and put something in the school that will generate revenue. Have a bond issue to pay for both at once. Both will bring new economic and cultural life to downtown Denison; together they will do even more for the town. If the Smith and Munson Foundations really care about Denison, let them support this solution with their "tax-free" dollars, which are supposed to go for something useful, not to demolish our community's historical treasures.
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