Historic Preservation Committee gives back

By ABBEY KUNKLE
Special to the PRESS

January 8, 2015

The Historic Preservation Committee met Tuesday afternoon for their first meeting of the New Year. Chairman Steve Hathcock has been an active member of the historical preservation community and was recently named Vice Chairman of the Cameron County Historical Commission. With some activities in the works and more ideas up for discussion, the Historic Preservation Committee plans to use their time and effort to give back to the community in 2015.

At Tuesday’s meeting, committee members decided to start giving back by donating souvenir items from the 35th anniversary of the City of South Padre Island to the Boys and Girls Club of Laguna Madre. Since the anniversary celebration in 2008, the committee has been in possession of many pirate themed items and trinkets that they decided will better serve to be enjoyed by children in the area than to continue to sit in storage boxes.

In addition to donating items, members put a lot of their own time and effort into historical preservation and will soon begin restoring historical markers on the island including those at the county parks. The process takes some time as it requires washing, painting, and glazing the markers. So, attempting to avoid the busiest times with Spring Break and holidays coming up, members planned to hold the restoration session beginning at 10a.m. on May 2nd.

Chairman Hathcock moved on to discuss proposed plaques for a “Wall of Honor” at City Hall. Having reviewed several options, the committee decided on a 9×12 plaque at the cost of $82 a piece. There will be an initial $25 setup fee and the committee will commission 4 plaques to start. There were some less expensive options, but the committee felt that the option they chose would be a quality product that would last. Once the plaques have been made, there will likely be a small reception to commemorate the hanging of the plaques at City Hall.

The budget for the 2014-2015 fiscal year was also up for discussion at the meeting. In past years, rather than having a specified amount per year, the committee requested money from the city as needed. This year, the Historic Preservation Committee was allotted $3000 by the Convention and Visitors Advisory Board. The budgeted amount is funded by the city’s Hotel Occupancy Tax and if not used will be returned to the city’s general fund. Member Angie Roach said, “I think it’s awesome that we got a budget this year,” and Hathcock added, “We have as big of a budget as the Cameron County Historical Commission. The county has been very frugal, and we’re very fortunate to have this generous of a budget.” The budget for the 2014-2015 fiscal year was approved.

The Cameron County Historical Commission will meet this Sunday in San Benito, and the next meeting for the Historic Preservation Committee will be held at SPI City Hall on Tuesday, February 3rd at 4:15 p.m. At the meeting, the committee will focus on setting further goals to complete throughout the year.

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