San Marcos Mercury | Local News from San Marcos and Hays County, Texas

Andrea Hinojosa and her helper, Brandon Miles, display a turkey during judging at the Hays County Youth Livestock Expo in 2011. PHOTO by LINCOLN RAMIREZ

by BRAD ROLLINS

Frustrated by university president Denise Trauth’s resistance to building a youth agriculture facility on the Freeman Ranch, supporters of the plan intend to take their case directly to Texas State University System regents when they meet in San Marcos next month.

“As far as I’m concerned it’s not a dead issue yet. They may think it is, but there will be a lot more people weighing in on this subject, at all levels of government,” said Dick Scott, a Wimberley businessman appointed by Gov. Rick Perry to the Lower Colorado River Authority board in 2009 and the Texas Parks & Wildlife Commission in 2011.

Scott’s brother, William, is also a gubernatorial appointee: a Texas State University System regent.

“We are not going to go quietly into the good night,” Dick Scott told the San Marcos Mercury late last year.

In December, Trauth signed a letter to county officials detailing what she says are contractual restrictions that make the county’s proposal for the facility legally impossible. Texas State has use of the land under an intricate arrangement that gives the university control, but not ownership, of the property.

“Texas State takes its relationship with donors very seriously. We work hard to ensure that donors’ wishes for their philanthropic gifts to the university are met. Disgruntled donors have the unique ability to thwart future fundraising efforts on our part if we fail in this stewardship responsibility,” Trauth wrote, concluding curtly, “I wish you success in finding an alternative location for a new show barn.”

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8 thoughts on “Texas State, Hays County at odds over Freeman Ranch proposal

  1. It’s interesting that Mr. Scott thinks this discussion is still ongoing despite there being “contractual restrictions that make the county’s plans for the facility legally impossible.”

  2. Except that’s Trauth’s personal opinion about what the contract means, not a legal or judicial opinion. She’s not even a party to the agreement, the TXSUS is.

  3. Well if you do a bit of digging on the Hays CAD, Freeman Educational Foundation is the owner name but the owner address is “Frost National Bank Trust P O Box.” So, the usage of the land is likely managed under a trust and therefore it very well could be “legally impossible” due to “contractual restrictions.” I have a feeling Trauth wouldn’t have said that if it wasn’t true, seems like that would be very easy to disprove if it weren’t the case.

  4. My argument wasn’t that Trauth is wrong, it’s that she’s not the one that gets to decide what the trust agreement means. That’s why Mr. Scott is going over her head to the TXSUS.

  5. I would like to see Hays, Caldwell and Guadalupe counties work together and build one nice place along 123 or 80. Many other counties across the country have tri-county activity centers. Might even ask Comal county to join in. Constructing a nice venue for all three or four counties to use would ensure the place is self sufficient.

  6. J. Lee’s idea is a good one and would ensure that every county had one superior facility to go to. I would that commissioners courts who at election time always brag about their thrifty ways would actually consider something that would save money and provide value.

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