By DINA ARÉVALO
Port Isabel-South Padre Press
From the weather to politics, local scandals to viral headlines, tales of tragedy to heartwarming stories of personal bravery, the past year has been rife with news that never stops. And as is tradition, the PRESS is again taking the opportunity to recap and reflect on some of the biggest newsmakers of the past 12 months.
New Yacht Club Owners
The small town of Port Isabel was host to a number of headlines that had people talking at local hole-in-the-walls, as well as social media. Things got started early in the year, when a Bayview family announced their intentions to purchase the beloved Port Isabel Yacht Club.
The news broke on Feb. 1, and by the Feb. 15 edition of the PRESS, the deal had been inked. The City — which purchased the structure and surrounding property for just over $752,000 in 2014 — sold the Yacht Club to father and son duo, Ernesto and Armando Martinez for $430,000.
The Yacht Club remained in the headlines as the City Commission later approved a 5-year tax abatement agreement that would discount the property taxes the Martinez family owes on any improvements to the property.
But, the nearly 100-year-old structure remained on the front page for other reasons, as well. In late March, the Port Isabel City Commission heard the results of a forensic audit surrounding the City’s defunct plan to renovate or restore the facility into a culinary arts school and museum.
At a separate meeting, the City also heard a forensic audit about its revolving loan program, which is aimed at providing funds to small business owners.
The results third audit — slated to discuss the construction of the Port Isabel Event & Cultural Center — has been postponed pending the completion of litigation the City is currently fighting against the project’s former developer.
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