A beautiful and resourceful opportunity lies before us like a pearl on the flesh of an oyster. Unfortunately for the City of Corpus Christi, it seems like the pearl is imperfect and the oyster has lost its freshness and has started to stink up the place.
Whether through lack of leadership or hmm, let me see, maybe…lack of leadership, this city continues to fail in climbing the ladder of success as a city that can draw people, money and retain the brightest minds it produces.
One example is the beautiful wind turbines that grace our bayfront near the American Bank Center, which is one of the city’s most visited attractions. The four turbines are situated near the seawall surrounded by what might have once been a lush, vibrant ecological display.
Now only two of the turbines are in working order and dead weeds surround them now. The reason behind the inoperative turbines is saltwater. Who would have thought that these turbines might be exposed to any sort of corrosive environmental threats, being located on the Bayfront, just steps away from the waters edge?
These turbines were to produce enough energy to power the lights around that section of the Bayfront. At an estimated cost of $450,000, the city is lucky that the turbines are still under warranty.
It is surprising that the city did not hire a high-dollar consulting firm to evaluate which would be a more cost effective product. Or possibly round up the geniuses who spent nearly $10,000 on the replacement of a timer in City Council chambers that signals to speakers when their time limit ends.
The Nueces County Courthouse was built in 1914; the last time the gavel was heard inside the building was in 1977. It has since sat derelict and has become an eyesore. Despite many efforts to transform the building into something useful to the community it remains a squatter’s paradise.
In August of 2011, the city hired a firm to conduct an engineering study of the courthouse, which resulted in a low score; this revealed the courthouse is on the verge of collapsing and structurally unsound. According to the Texas Historical Commission website, www.thc.state.tx.us, an easement through the Texas Historic Courthouse Preservation Program (THCPP) was filed that restricted the destruction of the Nueces County Courthouse. This easement is in effect until 2027.
In a recent article in the Corpus Christi Caller Times, Nueces County Commissioner Mike Pusley said, “We can either try to move forward or stand here for the next 15 years and watch the building crumble brick by brick.” Pusley has led a county effort to resolve the condition of the old courthouse. Although the courthouse has served its purpose honorably, it is time to let it go.
The ill-repaired streets are another issue that seems to be discussed in every circle yet it seems like it continues to be something on the city’s “to-do” list. The Pothole Patrol might need a time slot of its own.
The newest additions to the city, three new Super Walmarts, have become an early Christmas present. In reality the opening of these conglomerate giants has resulted in the creation of new jobs, boosted the local economy, and lastly is the new road construction and repairs on existing streets in front of each store.
Now with the addition of Schlitterbahn and Hurricane Alley, our city officials must take into consideration the increase in traffic and the demands on the already exhausted streets.
Our mayor who is jet setting to other countries trying to gain future lasting friendships, should perhaps gather up the troops, aka our city council, and work on fixing the current dilemmas facing the city.
The new water parks are sure to bring plenty of tourists and draw interest from companies looking to set up their tents in our city, but the roads in our city have to be fixed to guarantee the return of visitors to the city.
In the end, our city leaders should assure the future of the city by bringing more opportunities that can entice the young workforce to stay rather than pack up as soon as they finish school.