SpaceX explosion shakes lighthouse


Special to the PRESS

Port Isabel City Commission held their regularly scheduled meeting on July 12. After the opening invocations the commission opened the floor to public comments of which there were none. A planned presentation from the Texas Department of Transportation, discussing the Causeway Repair Project, was postponed until a future meeting of the commission.

Moving forward they selected Commissioner Carmen Rios to fill the position of Mayor Pro-Tempore. This position is to ensure that if Mayor Cantu cannot fill the role for any reason someone is able to step up and assume the responsibilities of the office.

As they went over old business, City Manager Jared Hockema informed the commission that a previously approved item, sending firefighters for training, had been canceled as the approval came too late for them to participate in the training.

It was also mentioned that the Port Isabel Library has seen an upswing in attendance this year and the Lighthouse has broken many records for attendance.

Another bit of old business that received final approval was a second reading of Ordinance 593-B Stormwater. The ordinance provides regulation of storm-water and non-storm-water discharges into the storm sewer system and watercourses of the city. The primary change the commission and city were wanting to see with the ordinance was to increase the penalty for violating the ordinance, though concerns were noted that this could prevent future development. To this end City Manager Hockema and the Commission agreed variances could be granted in special circumstances.

New business that was brought forward included the exciting approval of a license agreement with Smokeshop Productions LLC to film at city owned locations in connection with a motion picture. While not much is known about the film project it is stated that they would be using the police station and that it would not feature Port Isabel as the named city in the film. In the same vein as this the commission also approved a contract with 3BAT Productions to hold a Lucha Libre Wrestling Event at the Port Isabel City Event and Cultural Center.

Concerns were raised about an explosion that took place on July 11 at the SpaceX Boca Chica facility during a test firing of the prototype heavy boost engine. The explosion was felt all the way out to Laguna Heights and was powerful enough to reportedly shake the Port Isabel Lighthouse. The Commission was concerned about the possibility of future explosions and questioned the prospect of future legal action in that event taking place.

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