Local News

Sep 17, 2013 4:55 PM by Andrew Ellison - aellison@kristv.com

Corpus Christi Trying to Secure Navy Jobs for Years to Come

CORPUS CHRISTI - The city is taking big steps to keep military jobs here locally. A joint land study with the Navy recently concluded and was presented to council today.

N.A.S Corpus Christi, N.A.S Kingsville, and C.C.A.D account for 25 percent of our local economy here, and flight training is a huge chunk of that percentage. An example is the touch and go landings performed at Cabaniss Field.

But here's the thing, the Navy has guidelines about structures built around the training fields, and if you break those guidelines, you lose the training, and the money and jobs that come with it.

So the point of the study was for the city to take recommendations and change their zoning laws around those fields. That way, they would be in compliance with Navy standards for years to come.

"The point is to do everything we can to secure the long term presence of an industry that represents 25 percent of our local economy," Councilmen Mark Scott says.

"An example would be to make sure we don't have an apartment complex at the end of a runway, which would lead the Navy to say, we need to have our trainers go somewhere else," he added.

The city says they're already taking steps to make this happen.

"Oh yeah, in fact we're out ahead of the curve. We have yet to formally approve this document, we'll do it in the next two weeks, and we've already created a new zoning class, we've gone out and analyzed land around the airports," Scott says.

The city added that this foresight secures the jobs it has now, and could allow them to capitalize where other cities failed, allowing structures to be built that caused the Navy to leave.

"There's a lot places on the east coast that have not gotten ahead of the curve like we have and are now suffering the consequences. We in turn will tell the military over the next 5 to 10 years, if you have a problem on the east coast, bring your business to south texas," Scott says.

The city added that there was some resistance from developers who had purchased land around some of those training fields, but the city worked with them, included them in the study, and agreements have been reached.

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