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Oct 9, 2013 10:29 PM by Mike Manzoni -- mmanzoni@kristv.com

Cruise Ship Port Could Be Headed To Corpus Christi

CORPUS CHRISTI -- State Rep. Todd Hunter on Wednesday said plans to bring the cruise ship industry to South Texas have been revived, about a year after they stalled in the state legislature when election issues put the idea on hold.

Hunter, R-Texas 32, said Gov. Rick Perry signed a bill into law in June that allows state officials to move forward with a feasibility study that will look into whether a cruise ship port would work in Corpus Christi.

An earlier bill that aimed to do the same thing died in the state legislature in December 2012 after the deadline passed when lawmakers were focused on other issues. "The election process got delayed, so we didn't elect a lot of legislators, so it delayed a lot of hearings."

And for the first time since the idea was floated, Hunter set a rough time line, saying that if all goes as planned, the port may be as soon as five years away.

"We didn't really lose a lot of time and we have the frame work and the structure," he said, "and you'll start seeing a lot of activity at the end of the year and at the beginning of next."

Hunter said a cruise ship port would be a boon to the Corpus Christi economy, generating revenue from tourism, among other things.

As part of the study to look into the proposed port, lawmakers plan to seek input from the public.

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