Sep 5, 2013 5:28 PM by Janine Reyes
CORPUS CHRISTI -- Plans for Destination Bayfront will go before voters later this year. But, a group of voters gathered today to say they don't want it.
Instead, they say the city could use that money to pave 300 miles of streets.
That group of voters tells us it's not that they don't enjoy the bayfront, or necessarily that they think it's a bad plan.
But, they do say fixing up our bayfront before their home fronts is putting wants before needs.
Nora and Ray Govett live on Harry Street, they say they've waited long enough for street repair. "We've lived here over 45 years, and I don't think the street has been surfaced in that amount of time," said Nora. It's a problem the couple wants solved now.
Problem is, it's not in the city's plans yet.
"They're not including Harry Street in the infrastructure for those to be repaired in the next 20 years," said Govett.
What is in the city's plans is Destination Bayfront. The group that calls themselves Neighborhoods First says we just cannot afford it.
Councilman Rudy Garza says besides bad streets, we have other issues that will also cost you.
"The biggest concern that I have is wastewater, I think we're going to have a high ticket item in solving our wastewater issues, something called sanitary sewer overflows,"
Bottom line, Garza says, is that we simply cannot afford Destination Bayfront when there's just so much to fix at home for most residents.
But, Mayor Nelda Martinez is a big supporter of the Destination Bayfront plans. "What kind of value, I think its priceless when you give the citizens the opportunity to invest in this quality of signature of park, to me that's invaluable," Martinez said.
She says we can't afford not to bring in Destination Bayfront and it will come at a cost of about $2 a month if you own a $100,000 home. Martinez says the economic impact will help fund repairs to our city. "If you wait all day long, if you wait 20 years, then you miss what we can possibly do to fix Harry street, to add to the the tax base," she said.
Garza admits the council is split on the issue. "There's 6 city councilman and women that believe that Destination Bayfront is very important project to do at this time and I respect their views," he said.
While the two representatives agree to disagree, it will ultimately be up to voters like the Govetts to make the final call on Destination Bayfront, and for the Govetts, the streets are priority.
"I think all the streets need to be repaired, not just Harry street, but I think they need to start here at least include it before 20 years," Nora said.
Mayor Martinez tells us its not a case of getting street repair or Destination Bayfront, she says we can have both.
But Neighborhoods First says putting says for the same cost of Destination Bayfront, the city can pave 300 miles of residential streets.
You can make your own decision and weigh in with a vote November 5th.