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North Beach canal ordinance passes

Proposed North Beach Canal
Posted at 6:32 PM, Dec 10, 2019
and last updated 2019-12-10 20:45:57-05

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — The Corpus Christi City Council voted unanimously to approve the construction of a grand canal on North Beach, despite legal objections raised by Corpus Christi City Attorney Miles Risley.

The 9-0 decision was made after the council discussed the issue in executive session for more than two hours Tuesday evening.

The ordinance allows for occasional, necessary modifications, with two exceptions: The canal must be "navigable," or be big enough for small boats to maneuver in it; and most of it must be built in its original, proposed location.

Several steps have to be completed before it can become a reality, however.

"Section 1" of the ordinance says after the city council secures funding for the project, holds public-input meetings and gets appropriate permits, the canal's full design process and construction are being held to a $41.2M budget, with a completion date of Jan. 1, 2025.

"Section 2" requires funding for the canal to come from a pool of funding that includes various bonds and grants, properly authorized TIRZ funds from the board, the Seawall Fund, the Storm Water Capital Improvement Program, unassigned interest earned from the city's operating budget and/or capital budget funds and Nueces County.

Sections 3, 4 and 5, respectively, require the city manager to: identify a suitable engineering and design contract and present it to the council; identify and get council approval for funds; and liaise with the county on environmental studies.

City charter violations

Last week, four council members had a North Beach canal ordinance added to Tuesday's agenda.

Risley raised concerns about the ordinance, citing several ways it violated the city's charter.

Some of his concerns included there being no guaranteed funding source, a lack of excavation permits, a canal bot being listed in the TIRZ No. 4 project plan and a 90-year lease to property the city doesn't own.