The feedback indicated what people wanted to use the pier for. Of the 1,678 people surveyed, 52% said they want to walk on the pier and eat at the restaurant, and 48% said they wanted to fish from the pier (multiple responses were allowed).
The data also showed that the most appealing amenities suggested were having two sets of public restrooms in the concessions area, and expanding the width of the pier from 15.5 feet to 20 feet.
“We now have a great roadmap to what the community likes and doesn’t like, and now we just have to figure out what we as a court can pay for,” said Nueces County Commissioner Brent Chesney.
Scott Cross, the director of Nueces County Coastal Parks, said it was interesting to see all the data compiled in the report.
“As far as the stats and the numbers that represent the needs, wants, and must-haves, we’re just going to have to wade through what is realistic, reasonable, what can we do?” he said.
One thing Cross said the community wanted, but he was not in favor of, is the pier being free to access. He said by charging to use the pier, the maintenance and upkeep of the pier is self-sustaining.
“It costs the taxpayer nothing once we get it up and running,” he said.
The next step for the pier, aside from demolition, is for the county to decide what aspects of the proposal will go into the pier, and how much it will cost.
“But we have to be reasonable in what we ask for the court, because we can’t just ask for an unlimited amount of money, and hope the court will do it,” Chesney said. “We’ve had some preliminary cost estimates, and then the court’s going to have to decide what do we want, what do we don’t want, and go from there.”
Chesney said there is currently $18 million allocated to the pier, which came from bonds passed in 2020, but he estimates the pier will cost around $24 million to build.