Spring Break, City improvements top topics

Special to the PRESS

The South Padre Island City Council revisited the topics of Spring Break advertising and GUlf Boulevard improvements during its regular meeting Wednesday, Aug. 3.

Conventions and Visitor’s Bureau (CVB) Director Keith Arnold brought forward a marketing contingency request that was approved by the Council for FY 2015-2016 utilizing $248,580.08 of an unencumbered balance of $400,000.00 for Spring Break non-Texas Week targeted advertising, airport and airline advertising in Dallas and Houston, and for Trip Advisor Premium Destination Sponsorship. Mayor Patel recommended that additional funds be added to the request to include advertising in San Antonio and Austin. The Council also approved Arnold’s proposal of a CVB staff incentive plan utilizing 10 percent of the year over year increase in Hotel Occupancy Tax to provide “equitable and pay for performance based payouts.” The plan calls for eligible CVB staff and management to be paid no later than the first payroll in December.

Interim City Manager Darla Jones provided an update to the Council on current City projects. Revisions to Gulf Boulevard Phase IV project including the use of concrete instead of asphalt were being considered in order to shave about 30 days from the expected June completion date. The City is also currently awaiting reimbursement from the Texas General Land Office of approximately $150,000 related to the Gulf Boulevard Phase III project. On a separate agenda item, the Council granted Jones the authority to approve change orders up to $50,000 for the Gulf Boulevard Phase IV project.

Later in the meeting, Jones brought a recommendation to the Council related to the abandonment of a portion of West Whiting Street. Council approved that Skipjack Properties, L.L.C, owners of the property on either side, pay for the appraisal of the property and $1,000 in administrative fees to the City to assist in offsetting administrative and legal costs.

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