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Groups lining up to dig into Seawall Fund

Posted at 7:15 PM, Apr 18, 2019
and last updated 2019-04-18 20:19:05-04

The multi-million dollar Seawall Fund is in play.

Council members and the Type-A board are trying to figure out how to spend it.

The fund was originally set up for seawall improvement and repairs. But some local organizations now want some of the cash.

Multiple groups gave presentations today with suggestions on how that money should be used, including the seawall in ways that would attract tourists and make downtown Corpus Christi more appealing.

“The city is going to be here long after we’re gone,” Corpus Christi Mayor Joe McComb said. “We just need to make sure that it’s left in a good, safe condition for the future. And we hope the future leaders will leave it in good condition for the people that come after them.”

Thursday’s workshop was an informal step in the process of deciding how to spend the Seawall Fund.

Council members and the Type-A board, which specializes in business development, were given clarification on just what the money could be used for.

It turns out that money, loosely intended to protect against flooding, can be used for other projects.

“We want to be able to make sure that we include the economic development aspects to it,” Corpus Christi City Councilman Ben Molina said. “They’re really one in the same.”

Several organizations, including the Downtown Management District, gave presentations.

The DMD suggested using the money to clean up the seawall and mentioned negative reviews from out of towners.

Their goal is to use the money to beautify the downtown area.

McComb has a slightly different viewpoint.

“I’m sure there’s always people battling for money,” he said. “But what the council and the type-A board need to do is we need to make sure we’re battling for our protection. Because without the protection, neither one of them are gonna be around.”

The mayor also was clear in what should be the city’s aim for the money.

“Our first priority is the safety of the downtown area …. the protecting of the city … and they can worry about their little differences of who gets the money,” McComb said.

No decision was made today. Any action taken will require council approval.

The council is expected to make a decision on how to spend that money before the next budget planning period begins.