By ABBEY KUNKLE
Special to the PRESS
The South Padre Island Parks, Recreation and Beautification Committee met last week for their regular monthly meeting.
After the successful Fourth of July Beach Parade, which was well attended and was the first Saturday parade in many years, the committee jumped right into upcoming events all the way through Christmas.
The next event for the committee is the 14th Causeway Memorial Event, which is hosted by Port Isabel and South Padre Island, alternating each year. The City has begun to contact the family of survivors and victims of the Causeway collapse on September 15, 2001 that took eight lives and affected the entire community.
A minister and the mayors of both cities will be invited to speak at the short ceremony which will take place on Tuesday, Sept. 15.
In addition, the committee had participated in the Rotary Flag Program for July 4, but due to being short-handed and with new volunteers, the 50 flags were not placed on Padre Boulevard during the holiday. The Rotary Club has extended sincere apologies for the error and has offered to put up flags to acknowledge and memorialize those lost on the anniversary of the Causeway collapse. The flags will also be placed on September 11.
The Parks, Recreation and Beautification Committee has also begun planning for Christmas with the help of last year’s Christmas Parade co-chairs Pat Rasmussin and Ellen Walker. The Christmas Parade has been set for Friday, December 11 at 6 p.m. The committee will also work on plans for the Parade Awards Ceremony, Breakfast with Santa, and have ideas for a lighting contest. Committee member Debbie Huffman commended Port Isabel for last year’s light display and recommended that SPI follow suit.
In regards to current projects, renovations have begun on Community Center, and the SPI City Park site plan is under revision, with hopes to break ground in early fall. Island resident Jason Yetter attended the meeting and requested that the committee consider looking into the vacant AT&T-owned property next to Water Tower Park as an ideal location to improve the park immensely. Yetter suggested the committee talk to the owner about taking over the property through purchase or even donation to grow the park or to build a skate park, which Chairman Jody Hughes said is an idea that is dear to their hearts. Yetter noted that this property had been pursued a few years ago but felt that it should be looked at again as it would be hugely beneficial to the kids in the community. He requested the item be on the agenda for discussion at the next meeting.
The committee selected Isla/Rica at 2805 Padre Boulevard as August’s Yard of the Month. The next meeting for the SPI Parks, Recreation, and Beautification Committee was changed to August 26 at 9 a.m. dependent upon the availability of the meeting room.
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