PALESTINE, TX – City manager Wendy Ellis and Council member Steve Presley announced their plans today for an exciting new concept which not only will bring thousands of annual tourists to Palestine, but will also solve the radio communications issues for the Palestine police department. The dynamic duo, Palestine’s most trusted source when it comes to economic forecasts, have announced they are going to build the world’s biggest, most stupendous bungee ride ever, and they intend to name it “The Dogwood Dare”.
The main support towers, reaching heights of up to five hundred feet, will be positioned at key points on the east and west sides of Loop 256. The east tower will be in the vicinity of the Wells Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant and the west tower will be located between Sterne Avenue and Court Drive. The release point will be in the Dogwood Trails atop Manley Mountain and, based on the positioning of the towers, riders will be “sling shot” directly over the downtown historic district. Fifty seven passengers will board a bungee basket, shaped like a steam locomotive from the Texas State Railroad. Tension will be applied to the main bungee cord and when released, passengers will experience the sensation of traveling at speeds exceeding one hundred twenty miles per hour.
In addition to providing a new thrill for visitors to Palestine, the two support towers will serve as mounts for the new repeaters which will eliminate signal coverage issues the Palestine police officers have been experiencing in parts of the city. “It’s a win, win situation,” said city manager Wendy Ellis. Councilman Presley, acknowledging the city does not have as much money as he would like to spend, stated, “I’ll do my part to save on costs, I’ve volunteered to be in charge of weed control at the base of the towers.”
Rumors have been circulating for weeks that the city had plans for development of the Dogwood Trails Park. The city manager and Main Street director, Laura Westgate, were recently spotted there. Now, details of the master plan are beginning to emerge. The restrooms are the first step in attracting a variety of commercial establishments that will serve visitors who are waiting for their attempt at the “Dogwood Dare”. Multiple tourist shops, restaurants and bars will be located throughout the park and city officials anticipate millions in new sales tax dollars once the operation is in full swing.
The city manager also explained how the new ride will benefit the downtown historic district, “With the loop in place, a majority of traffic has been diverted away from our historic downtown district,” she said, “Everyone in the city wants to see downtown revitalization, but our directional highway signage is not having the positive effect we thought it would, so, by having visitors zip over the downtown area in an aerial basket, our hope is they will look down and say to themselves, now that looks like an interesting place to visit.” Ellis says the benefits will far outweigh the costs and Presley agreed saying, “We have to do something.”
Council members Vickey Chivers and Vernon Denmon shook their heads in disbelief, simultaneously muttering “Good, Lord, what’s wrong with these people?” Council member Joseph Thompson excitedly predicted, “It’s coming”, while Mark Price gave an emphatic, rapid head nodding reply of, “It’s wonnnnnderful,” as he threw his hands into the air. Councilman Adam Harding’s response was much more subdued, “It’s doable,” was all he said.
City officials refused to release specific details of the costs, but didn’t hesitate to project annual revenues of “tens of millions.”