Texas Horse Park deal irks Dallas Council member

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WFAA

Posted on May 7, 2014 at 6:58 PM

Updated Wednesday, May 7 at 7:06 PM

DALLAS — Just weeks before the animals move in, a Dallas City Council member wants to cut ties with a partner in the Texas Horse Park.

The City Council got a tour of the venue's construction site on Wednesday. The grand opening is set for October, with animals being moved in this summer.

McKinney's River Ranch Educational Charities is one of the operators, but it was revealed in December that Harris Wayne Kirk, the head of that organization, was convicted of animal cruelty in 2011.

City staff didn't have that information before the contract was signed.

On Wednesday, Council member Scott Griggs said the city completely dropped the ball, and he wants out of the deal.

"This animal abuse conviction, these other allegations, this is such a first class facility we cannot even have allegations of abuse," he said. "We can do better than this."

River Ranch's contract calls for 21 years rent-free, with an option for ten more years. Contract modifications are on the next City Council agenda.

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