By DINA ARÉVALO
Port Isabel-South Padre Press
Galvan Park and Washington Park were the focus of much of the discussion at Tuesday’s regular meeting of the Port Isabel City Commission. The Commission unanimously approved pursuing grant applications for improvements at the two parks, as well as the first reading of the 2016-2017 budget and property tax rates.
First up was a public hearing to discuss an application to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) for a $500,000 grant via their Texas Parks and Wildlife Outdoor Recreation Grant Program. The money would fund the construction of a pavilion, walking trails, landscaping and playscapes, said City Manager Jared Hockema.
The Commission and residents alike shared several concerns regarding access and usage of the park, including how parking will be accommodated, whether recreational fishing will be allowed and when bathroom facilities will be installed.
Local resident Sharon Colson asked why restrooms are not part of the grant application. The city manager replied that TPWD outlines a specific number of ways their monies can be used on a project, which excluded bathrooms and lighting. “They don’t allow lighting, they don’t allow restrooms,” Hockema said. The City will have to pursue other funding sources to install restrooms, he said.
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