(February 6, 2008)—The Waco City Council voted 5-1 Tuesday night to “respectfully decline” a privately funded 60-foot tall Texas Ranger statue that would have towered above the Texas Ranger Hall of Fame and Museum along Interstate 35.
District Five council member Jim Bush cast the only vote against declining the statue.
The Texas Ranger Sculpture Committee unveiled plans in December for the giant sculpture.
The 60-foot-tall statue would've stood stand atop at 10-foot-tall pedestal on the grounds of the museum.
The $650,000 cost of the sculpture would have been paid through private donations, supporters said.
The sculpture would have represented what supporters said was a classic image of a Ranger “of all cultural backgrounds from 1823 to 2008.
The goal of the sculpture was to honor the Rangers and encourage tourism, pumping dollars into the local economy, supporters said.
But many residents objected to the size of the statue, which some feared would turn into an object of ridicule rather than the tribute it was intended to be.
Supporters had offered to erect the statue on a trial basis, and then take it down after a proposed period of five years, but that idea was not accepted by the council.
Now supporters say they'll offer the statue to a number of other communities that have express and interest in putting it up.