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Port, City of Portland agree on Indian Point Pier lease

A new deal has been reached between the Port of Corpus Christi and the City of Portland for Indian Point Pier
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Posted at 10:51 PM, Jun 23, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-16 15:13:55-04

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — UPDATE: 12:20 p.m. July 16:

The city of Portland and the Port of Corpus Christi have come to an agreement on Indian Point Pier after months of negotiations.

Portland Mayor Cathy Skurrow tells KRIS 6 News that the Port has dropped everything it was asking for in a previous contract.

ThePort had asked for two four-by-six foot signs to be placed at the pier recognizing them as a community sponsor.

Skurrow says a new contract likely will be signed this week.

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Indian Point Pier in Portland.

It's a popular fishing spot.

The pier itself is owned by the City of Portland.

The land the pier is on is owned by the Port of Corpus Christi.

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A contract signed 30 years ago between the two entities is set to expire this year and negotiations for a new contract are underway.

A facebook group called 'Portland Citizens United' claimed in a post that the Port of Corpus Christi was threatening to close the pier if the Mayor of Portland didn't support the Port's initiatives.

The Port's C.E.O., Sean Strawbridge says that's not at all the case.

"Our leases are modernized. The last time that lease was executed was 30 years ago. There's a lot of things that have changed in 30 years and we sent the City of Portland a new draft, a modern draft and we didn't hear anything back from them and then there started to be some vilification of us in the press. You know, negotiations are about both sides talking. So, you know, I called their City Manager and said 'I understand you have concerns' he said 'yeah we do.' I said 'send them over in writing and will certainly take a look at them' and that's where we are in the process.

"I don't typically get involved in those those day-to-day negotiations. I usually get involved if they get high centered. We need to let that process work itself out. I have every reason to believe that will reach an agreement with the City of Portland and look we're willing to help. We recognize the value of Indian point pier. It was severely damaged in the storm. It doesn't generate any revenue for the city. It actually cost for the city. We've always been willing to offer the municipalities who are budgetary hamstrung some of our resources as well but you can't help somebody who can't, doesn't want your help. And right now we just got some some positions on that that I think are fair. We would like to have a sign put up. They don't want a sign from the Port of Corpus Christi.

"We don't understand why. It's our property. We're here to help in that. We'd like to make sure we have a sign put up on there. We're willing to contribute some additional dollars. The property is very valuable. They're unwilling to recognize the value of the property. You know these are all politics. These aren't pragmatic issues. So I think we can get through all of that."

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Strawbridge goes on to say "the Port has been unfairly vilified in my estimation for really reasons that aren't logical. We continue to do great things as we always have for the community and for the environment. We ran a poll last year of voters in both Nueces and San Patricio counties and a majority of them think we were doing a pretty good job. But we've got some elected officials who perhaps for other reasons, other perhaps political agendas are using the Port as a tool to perhaps promote some of their agendas. You know, as long as everybody's talking, we are going to reach an agreement. But there's some things that we want and I will tell you, we are a fair institution."

I personally reached out to the Portland City manager several times but have not heard back from him.

Meanwhile, no timeline has been given as to when a deal will be reached but a Port spokesperson says discussions are ongoing and "a resolution is imminent."