The park at Arrowhead Ranch Estates has a new owner. Art and Gayle Amaral, Arrowhead Ranch Estates residents, bought the property for $69,000 June 5 when it was sold for back taxes at the Clay County Courthouse.
The fate of the approximate 57 acres has been in question since 2002 when it was discovered that the entity listed as the property’s owner, the Arrowhead Ranch Estates Property Owners Association, was defunct, causing the property to lose its tax exempt status. According to Clay County Appraisal District chief appraiser Gerald Holland, the property had accrued $26,972.96 in back taxes. The CCAD lists the market value of the land as $98,190.
The acreage, bounded by Coushatta Road, Atoka Trail and FM 1954, was used as a park in the early days of Arrowhead Ranch Estates. Longtime Arrowhead resident Myron VonDielingen said that in the past, the park was a nice gathering place with a swimming pool, playground equipment and a tank for fishing and was well-used by residents. The pool is now filled in and the fishing hole is dry, but the land is still used for horseback and ATV riding.
Former CCAD chief appraiser and Arrowhead Ranch Estates resident A.G. Reis said that during the past several years, more than one attempt was made to form a new property owners association so that the tax exempt status could be maintained, but the attempts were not successful. Like other Arrowhead residents, Reis wondered what would happen to the park.
Amaral himself does not know what will happen with his new land. He said that buying the property was an emotional decision — not one part of his family’s master plan and if any development happens, it will be done with taste and consideration for the neighborhood. “We drive by that everyday,” Amaral said. “We want to make sure our community stays a great place to live.” Another party also was bidding on the land.
The Henrietta Independent School District, Clay County and Clay Emergency Medical Service District #2 sued the Arrowhead Ranch Estates Property Owners Association et al for the back taxes. Because the property sold for more than the amount owed, excess proceeds of $37,958.79 from the sale were placed in the registry of the court and will be held for two years. Dan Slagle, 97th District Court Clerk, said that letters would be mailed to the more than 100 defendants in the suit notifying them of the situation. After the two years, the funds will be distributed on a prorated basis.