By PAMELA CODY
Special to the PRESS
A concerned citizen addressed the Commissioners Court in Brownsville at their regular meeting at 9 a.m. on April 30, to voice opposition to development on the flats in South Padre Island.
Recently, Cameron County commissioners issued an official request for proposals to possibly allow private development of an entertainment facility on the North flats near the SPI Convention Center. The idea has angered many local residents, as well as environmental groups, who staunchly oppose development of the area in question.
As of mid-March, only one proposal has been submitted in response to the county’s solicitations for a family-oriented facility, to be constructed on the county land situated within Andy Bowie Park.
According to stipulations outlined in the county’s request for proposals, the facility would include dining and retail space, and other potential attractions such as water sport equipment rental operations, family recreation areas, boat slips, and performance stages.
Precinct 1 County Commissioner Sophia C. Benavides commented on the proposed development recently, saying the commissioners are simply looking for ways to attract more year-round visitors to the Island.
Brownsville resident Bill Berg spoke during the public comments section of the meeting. Prefacing his remarks, Berg noted that in a year or two, the flats may well be one of the only unwalled areas for shorebirds, a reference to the border wall the current president is fixated on building in the Rio Grande area, situated as it is along the border of Mexico. Many other local sanctuaries and wildlife areas will literally have the border wall running right through them, which concerns environmentalists in the region.
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