BALLINGER - Ballinger City Manager Bryan Grimes announced last week that he had officially accepted a position with the City of Willow Park on Tuesday, Oct. 10.

BALLINGER - Ballinger City Manager Bryan Grimes announced last week that he had officially accepted a position with the City of Willow Park on Tuesday, Oct. 10.

Grimes was named the lone finalist for the city administrator’s position following his interview on Sept. 19.

The Ballinger City Council officially accepted his resignation during Monday's regular city council meeting. The council agreed to honor his contract, which specifies a 60 day notice.

The job in Willow Park, a community of about 5,000 located in Parker County between Weatherford and Fort Worth, begins on Dec. 1. Grimes, who started as city manager on June 2, 2014, said he continues to work on negotiations with Lake Fort Phantom water project to make sure that water is secured for Ballinger for years to come.

“I’m hopeful that all of the agreements will be executed on the Lake Fort Phantom water plan will be signed before I leave,” Grimes said. “I still care deeply for this community, this city council and my friends here.”

In refuting rumors City Councilman Philip Arp, said there was no buy out on Grimes’ contract and he did not resign over a salary issue.

“That is not how it happened at all,” Arp explained adding that the entire council is “appreciative of Grimes staying until Dec. 1.”

Arp confirmed that Grimes is staying on to make sure the Lake Fort Phantom water project signed and approved.

“That was the main reason we hired him,” Arp said. “And he did it.”

Arp said Grimes will be “sorely missed.”

“We are sad to see him go,” Arp said. “This is a great opportunity for him. This is good for his career and he’ll do great things.”

Meanwhile, the council did discuss hiring a new city manager. When Grimes was hired over three years ago, the council had formulated a hiring process and revamped the job description.

“At the time the main focus we had was water,” Arp explained. “The next council will be focusing more on economic development most likely.”

Willow Park’s Interim city administrator Bernie Parker – who was one of the two finalists for the position – will continue to serve in that capacity until Grimes starts.

A copy of Grimes’s resume shows seven years of experience as a city manager in Ballinger (population 3,767), Anson (population 2,430), and Petersburg, Texas (population 1,131).

Willow Park’s population is 5,146 according to the latest census statistics.

Grimes said while the decision to take the position took much praying and consideration. He said the Willow Park area is experiencing significant growth so he is excited to take on the challenge.

Grimes stressed that he has turned down six or seven opportunities prior to accepting the Willow Park position.

“I was not openly looking for opportunities, but this was just too good to pass up,” Grimes said. “It will be a good move for our family.”

Grimes said he has made lifelong friends in Ballinger and that he and his wife have shed some tears in the past week.

“The friendships we’ve developed here have made this a lot more difficult,” Grimes said. “When I retire, maybe I’ll come back and run for mayor.”