Local News

Feb 27, 2014 4:51 PM by Andrew Ellison - aellison@kristv.com

$25,000 Mural in Robstown Library Too Expensive for Taxpayers?

ROBSTOWN - There are questions tonight over a pending project at the Keach Library in Robstown, and whether or not the price tag is worth it for taxpayers.

County Commissioner Oscar Ortiz is proposing a mural be painted on the inside, and below it, a plaque honoring former County Commissioner Betty Jean Longoria.

But other commissioners say taxpayers shouldn't have to foot the bill for that.

The item was placed on yesterday's Commissioner's Court agenda, put was pulled because Commissioner Ortiz says it wasn't quite ready to be presented.

Problem is no amount of presentation can bypass the fact that the project's current price tag is $25,000.

Ortiz says the plan is to paint a mural on the upper wall near the entrance of the library. The painting will not be of Longoria, but there will be a plaque underneath it on the lower wall honoring her.

Oritz says Longoria deserves recognition for what she did for the library.

"She got out there and she was very instrumental in raising funds to purchase books," he says.

"I do think the county owes Betty Jean a debt of gratitude and I wouldn't be opposed to Nueces County footing part of the bill," he added.

We asked what about the whole bill?

"I wouldn't mind that either," he replied.

And that's where Commissioner Mike Pusley draws the line.

"I have no problem with what they're trying to do. My problem is first and foremost that they want to try to bring this through the court and have the taxpayers foot the bill, and it's just not appropriate for us to do that," he says.

Ortiz says he is trying to raise some private funds for the project, but hasn't raised any so far.

When it comes to private funds, Commissioner Pusley is all for it.

"Now, if they come to me and say Commissioner Pusley, would you make a private donation? I'd say sure, Betty Jean and I have been friends for over thirty years, and I'd be willing in a heartbeat to donate to that personally," he says.

Ortiz hopes to re-work the proposal and put it on the next Commissioner's Court Agenda in three weeks.

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