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Bob Hall pier to be rebuilt without FEMA help

Nueces County to Discuss Appealing to FEMA
Posted at 6:33 PM, Feb 08, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-08 19:58:53-05

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Bob Hall Pier has been closed off to the public for about seven months, but the Nueces County Commissioners Court says they’re determined to open it with or without FEMA’s financial help.

On Wednesday the Nueces County Commissioner’s Court is set to discuss whether to ask FEMA again for funds to reconstruct Bob Hall Pier after they were initially denied.

Nueces County Commissioner Brent Chesney says the county submitted the damage estimates and the estimates to demolish and rebuild the pier.

However in a letter to the county FEMA says out of the $26.2 million in claims by Nueces County and municipalities, only $8.2 million in damage was certified, citing labor and insurance costs.

Chesney, however, says there are other options if FEMA denies their request again.

“Our advisor has told us that we can borrow up to 50 million dollars for projects in Nueces County,” Chesney said.

The plans are still to demolish the pier and concession stand and reconstruct them but the observation deck will stay the same.

Betsy Gilman is visiting the area from Albuquerque and hoping to move to Padre Island, saying its unfortunate the pier isn’t accessible.

“If we buy a house here that would be a definite plus and place that we would come to hang out,” Gilman said.

Chesney says FEMA does grant a portion of the money at times even if it is not the full amount that was requested and says he’s hoping the county will receive any amount if possible. He says the court is fighting hard to move the process along quicker.

“I think you’ll see Bob Hall agenda items on pretty much.…I’m going to bet every court meeting between now and probably the end of May just because I think there’s going to be things on there whether it’s paying a bill or discussing the big picture,” Chesney said.

Chesney says that the tax rate should not go up if they are denied by FEMA.

On Wednesday the county will also discuss roads, drainage, debris removal, and other infrastructure at and near the pier.