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Hurricane Harvey: 25 percent of Port Aransas still in repair

Posted: 8:35 AM, Jan 04, 2019
Updated: 2019-01-04 11:30:53-05

PORT ARANSAS – After the most devastating hurricane in Texas history, Port Aransas mayor Charles Bujan says his city is about 75 percent complete in the recovery process.

More work will be needed to help the city come back in the upcoming year.

Among the New Year’s resolutions include the Texas Department of Transportation will begin fixing ferry lanes to help ease traffic.

“So we’ll have stacking lanes and an ability to get a lot of the traffic off the streets and into areas adjacent to the ferry landing,” Bujan said.

About 1,200 people were without homes or places to stay after Harvey.  Bujan said Port Aransas’ city council has approved a public facilities corporation. It will get a contractor this year to begin a non-taxpayer funded housing project.

“And they will build somewhere upwards of 150 or so apartments which will help us with our housing need,” Bujan said.

The city also is working to block the multi-million dollar desalination plant from Harbor Island.

The problem? City of Port Aransas officials say the desalination plant will negatively affect tourism in the area.  They have hired an attorney and requested a contested case hearing with the Texas Commission of Environmental Quality.

“If we’re granted the contested case hearing, that would be like a civil trial,” Bujan said.

Through 2019, the city will continue to work on infrastructure and other city facility renovations.

Despite the damage from Harvey, Bujan says he owes credit to Port Aransas citizens for their determination to rebuild the town back to what it used to be.

The city was also granted a $5 million grant which will be used to complete harbor work, purchase land for a permanent fire department, public works, and gas department.