County holds off on Island TIRZ participation

Port Isabel-South Padre Press

Amid lingering questions about the new direction of the City of South Padre Island’s Tax Increment Reinvestment Zone (TIRZ) the Cameron County Commissioners Court voted unanimously to table potential action regarding the County’s involvement.

Throughout the discussion Tuesday it was apparent that the County’s goals for the TIRZ were vastly different from those of the City of South Padre Island. For instance, the City abandoned plans to expand the South Padre Island Convention Centre. It also hopes to use TIRZ funds for land acquisition for ecotourism facilities, as well as to help fund ongoing sidewalk improvements. The County, however, wishes to see those Convention Centre expansions proceed, as well as utility infrastructure improvements in favor of the sidewalks.

South Padre Island Assistant City Manager Darla Jones was on hand to provide an update on the TIRZ’s new goals and secure the County’s participation. Commissioner David Garza wasted no time, however, in raising questions about the TIRZ’s new scope, asking for the status of previously proposed plan to upgrade the Convention Centre.

“Do they plan to do something? Because there was a plan in 2011,”Garza said, citing the proposal as the contributing factor for his support of the TIRZ in the past.

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