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Corpus Christi plans desalination town halls

by Suzanne Freeman - Corpus Christi Business News

The city of Corpus Christi has scheduled four town hall meetings to discuss proposed desalination plants that have become a central issue in the upcoming election for mayor and City Council. The meetings, which are virtual, are 6-7:15 p.m. on the following dates:

• Tuesday, Oct. 6

• Thursday, Oct. 8

• Monday, Oct. 12

• Wednesday, Oct. 14

“These town halls will allow citizens to provide input, gather important and accurate information on the project, and participate in an open dialogue,” reads a media release from the city.

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Corpus Christi makes improving its aging wastewater infrastructure a top priority

by Kathryn Cargo

The Oso Wastewater Treatment Plant was built in 1941, making it the oldest of Corpus Christi's six wastewater facilities.

Some sewer lines in the city are about 90 years old. Roughly 114 miles of these lines were built in the 1930s. 

The city hasn't kept up with the old systems, City Manager Peter Zanoni said. 

"In the past, the city didn't do the level of investment that it should have," he said.  "(We need continually invest in aging and deteriorating systems that we have here."

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Filing begins for Corpus Christi council positions

by Suzanne Freeman - Corpus Christi News

Filing begins Monday, July 20, for the nine places on the Corpus Christi City Council, including mayor. Deadline is 5 p.m. Monday, August 17. Also expected to be on the ballot are changes to the city charter, which could make this the last time that all members of the council are elected in the same year for two-year terms. The council has until mid-August to make that decision. The Tuesday, August 11, meeting is its final opportunity to approve charter changes or any bond issues for the November 3 general election.

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City Council approves $13.7M in street repair contracts

by Brian Burns KIII-TV

City Council approved $13.7M in street repair contracts which will cover more than 30 residential streets in the coming year.

The projects are part of the Residential Street Rebuild Program and most of the contracts were awarded to local companies. The 34 streets are just the beginning of a phase of the program to target the worst residential streets in the city.

Director of Engineering Jeff Edmonds said the repairs and reconstruction projects are long overdue.

"The thing that we haven't been able to address until recently has been the worst of the residential streets," Edmonds said. 

Edmonds added that voters approved a 2 cent tax increase, allowing the city to begin working on those streets. City Council also funded an additional $500,000 to give more Corpus Christi businesses impacted by the coronavirus pandemic, an opportunity to take advantage of the interest-free loans.

City seeks input on Development of Calallen's Northwest Blvd

by KRIS 6 Corpus Christi

Northwest Boulevard has seen much growth in recent years and now the city has a plan in place that will influence the future of this area.

The City of Corpus Christi is asking the community to help guide the development of the area. They will have a public meeting Thursday night on Zoom. There is also a survey to gauge public opinion.

City engineers are looking at a three-mile stretch between US Highway 77 and County Road 73.

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Corpus Christi City Manager Peter Zanoni appoints 6 new executive city employees

by Corpus Christi Caller-Times

Corpus Christi City Manager Peter Zanoni has made major changes to the city's internal structure since starting in the position about a year ago. 

His latest effort came this week.

Zanoni announced the appointment of six new executives at City Hall during Tuesday's City Council meeting.

Here's who's new to City Hall:

  • Heather Hurlbert, director of finance and business analysis department - She graduated from the University of Texas at San Antonio with a bachelor of business administration in accounting and is a certified public accountant. Hurlbert most recently worked for the city of San Marcos as the finance director and chief financial officer. She has 20 years of accounting experience and is a certified government finance officer.
  • Eyvon McHaney, interim director of human resources department - She graduated from the University of Illinois with a bachelor of arts in sociology and a master of science in human resource management from the Keller Graduate School of Management. McHaney most recently worked as the assistant director of human resources for the Illinois Housing and Development Authority. McHaney also worked as a labor/ employee relations officer for the University of Illinois at Chicago.
  • Rolando Mata, assistant director of public works/ streets department - He graduated from Texas A&M University-San Antonio with a bachelor of business administration in business management. Mata most recently worked for the city of San Antonio for 28 years in both storm water and street operations.
  • Tyler Miller, assistant director of aviation department - He graduated from Purdue University with a bachelor of science in aviation management. Miller most recently worked as airport operations manager at South Bend Airport and airport operations supervisor at Clearwater Airport. Miller is an accredited airport executive and airport certified employee.
  • Kevin Smith, assistant director of aviation department -  He graduated from Texas Tech University with a bachelor of science in economics and Embry Riddle Aeronautical University with a master of science in Aeronautics. Smith has more than 30 years of combined experience as assistant vice president at the Dallas-Fort Worth Airport and Southwest Airlines.
  • Josh Chronley, strategic planning and innovation officer - He graduated from the University of Phoenix with a bachelor of business administration in business management with the majority of classes taken at the University of Texas-San Antonio. Chronley most recently worked for the city of San Antonio for eight years working from a budget analyst I, II, II to a senior budget program specialist.

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Corpus Christi applies for $222 million loan for desalination plant in port's Inner Harbor

by Rick Ramirez - Corpus Christi Caller-Times

The city of Corpus Christi is exploring securing $222 million in loans to pay for its first seawater desalination plant.

The City Council on Tuesday authorized its staff to apply to the Texas Water Development Board for the money.

The funds, if approved, would cover costs to both the design and build the facility in the Port of Corpus Christi's Inner Harbor.

"This is another step in that pursuit of having an uninterruptible water supply," Mayor Joe McComb said.

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Richard Martinez appointed as city's new director of public works

by Tim Griffin - KRIS 6 News Corpus Christi

Have you got a complaint about Corpus Christi streets?

You'll soon be able to direct those complaints to one person.

In less than an hour, the city manager will announce the appointment of Richard Martinez as the city’s new director of public works and street operations.

Martinez previously was assistant transportation and public works director for the City of Fort Worth.

Before that, Martinez worked for the City of San Antonio as the Public Works Operations Manager where he was responsible for administering an annual budget of approximately $70 million for street operations.

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Corpus Christi City Council backs $41 million North Beach canal project

by Kathryn Cargo - Corpus Christi Caller-Times

The city of Corpus Christi is moving forward with a plan to build a navigable canal for North Beach. 

City Council unanimously voted Tuesday to pass an ordinance that authorizes the city to pursue building and paying for a navigable canal in the flood-prone neighborhood.

"I can see the vision as an overall vision for Corpus Christi," said Gil Hernandez, the Dist. 5 council member. "It can be something as a legacy for us. I appreciate this work, and I will understand this is the beginning and not the end."

The measure will be voted on a second time during next week's council meeting before it's finalized. 

The city would design and construct the canal for no more than $41.2 million before or on Jan. 1, 2025, according to the ordinance. That is contingent upon the city identifying funding, having a community public-input process and obtaining the required permits. 

The council voted on the ordinance after discussing the issue behind closed doors for nearly three hours. The measure is meant to replace a previous canal proposal that faced several legal issues, City Manager Peter Zanoni said. 

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A tax increment reinvestment zone officially is created for Corpus Christi's North Beach

by Kathryn Cargo - Corpus Christi Caller-Times

A tax increment reinvestment zone has officially been created for North Beach. 

The neighborhood has seen little development in the past five decades and has long-standing flooding and drainage problems. 

City Council unanimously voted for the second and final time to create a TIRZ for the area during its regular meeting on Tuesday. 

"This is really a historical day to get this done, and I want to thank everyone that has participated," said Everett Roy, who represents North Beach on the council.  

The tax increment reinvestment zone will focus on beautification of North Beach and allow the city to offer incentives to encourage other developments, including parking structures, hotels, apartments and entertainment venues.

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City of Corpus Christi moves forward with $32 million residential street rebuild program

by Kathryn Cargo - Corpus Christi Called-Times

It's common for Corpus Christi residents to encounter potholes, cracks and bumps on city streets every day when they drive home. 

More than half of residential streets in Corpus Christi are in poor condition, according to the city's 2020 budget. 

But the City Council is steering the city toward a solution, awarding a contract Tuesday to develop bid contracts and design construction plans for its Residential Street Rebuild Program.

The city has allocated $32.55 million for the program that will repair residential streets across Corpus Christi. Construction is slated to start in May 2020 and last two years.

"The neighborhood streets have been neglected but this is where the resident lives and this is the first street they see when they're leaving their home," City Manager Peter Zanoni said.

"(These streets) have an impact on the quality of life in the neighborhood. it's important we have high quality infrastructure in the neighborhood."

The city is developing a three-year plan for street reconstruction and want to bring it to council by the end of the year. The plan would be ongoing so the city and residents always know what streets would be fixed next. The city doesn't have a plan like this now.

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Corpus Christi's airport awarded $7 million in federal funding

by Kirsten Crow - Corpus Chrisi Caller-Times

Improving Corpus Christi’s international airport has been high on city officials’ agenda, cited as an important asset to foster continuing economic development in the region.

On Wednesday, local leaders heard welcome news on its investment— a $7 million grant from a Federal Aviation Administration program, according to a news release issued by U.S. Sen. John Cornyn’s office.

The money is earmarked for rehabilitation of the airport’s apron, it states.

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Council approves Island wastewater line paving way for new IGA grocery store, future developments

by Brian Burns - KIII-TV

Corpus Christi's City Council approved this week the final piece of the IGA Grocery Store project on Padre Island.

Council agreed to partially fund a wastewater line being built not only for the store but also for the strip center that it is located in, and also for the future development of land next to the project. The IGA Grocery Store project has been in the making for four years and is already under construction after getting building permits earlier in August.

Surveyors have been out during the week and some materials are already being stacked on the construction site.

City Council voted Tuesday to use around $900,000 from the wastewater trunk system trust fund to partially pay for a 24-inch pipe instead of the four-inch pipe required for the store. According to Councilman Greg Smith, having the store run the larger pipe will allow for homes and businesses to be built on two nearby sections of land.

Currently, no sewage connections exist for 1,700 acres in that location.

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New manager's budget proposal calls for $128 million to fix Corpus Christi streets

by Kathryn Cargo - Corpus Christi Caller-Times

Corpus Christi's new city manager wants to nearly double the funding set aside for street repairs in next year's budget.

City Manager Peter Zanoni is expected to present a $1.1 billion municipal budget proposal to the City Council on Tuesday.

The proposal would allocate $128 million for street maintenance and reconstruction. That's more than the amount the city spent in the 2017 and 2018 fiscal years combined. 

Zanoni unveiled details of the spending forecast to the Caller-Times on Monday.

The proposed budget for fiscal year 2020 has a general fund of $271.1 million, roughly $17.7 million more than last year.

The extra money, which Zanoni said came from a combination of property tax increases sales tax revenue growth, would mostly help fund street improvements, as well as the police, fire and parks and recreation departments. 

The 2019 budget was $983 million. 

The council and the city manager have six weeks to discuss the budget before it must be adopted Sept. 17. 

The 2020 fiscal year begins Oct. 1. 

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City of Corpus Christi gives update on Park Road 22 bridge project


The Park Road 22 bridge project on Padre Island is one step closer to becoming a reality.

The bridge project would connect the canal system on both sides of the highway and pave the way for future development.

3News learned that the City of Corpus Christi is already advertising for bids on the construction of the bridge and that they could select a construction company by August. The move comes after a contract was signed by the developers Axys Capital to build the canal that connects the existing island canal system just north of Whitecap boulevard with the gulf side of the island.

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Corpus Christi City Council mulls regulations for short-term rentals

by Tim Acosta - Corpus Christi Caller-Times

Should companies like Airbnb be allowed to do business in Corpus Christi?

And if so, should their operators pay a tax to the city for a short-term rental they are operating on their private property?

Those are questions that the Corpus Christi City Council and staff are looking to answer. Some in the community argue that the city should not tell private property owners what they can do with their own residences, while others say those short-term rentals should be treated the same as other hotel/motel-type businesses and pay a local tax.

Assistant City Manager Keith Selman said the city's Unified Development Code doesn't allow for short-term rentals, but there's nothing that regulates their operation either. That poses questions on whether the city could tax them now, or wait until an actual ordinance is drafted and adopted codifying how short-term rentals are to be operated and taxed.

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City of Corpus Christi narrows down locations for possible desalination plant

Jared Cruz-Aedo - KIII TV

13 June 2019

During Corpus Christi's City Council meeting Tuesday, the team working on getting permits for a desalination plant told City leaders they are getting closer to announcing exact locations for it.

According to Water Resource Manager Steve Ramos, they have narrowed down the list of sites to one in the Inner Harbor and one in the La Quinta Channel area.

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Council members believe four-year terms are good for city

KRIS TV - Greg Chandler

5 June 2019

Could four-year terms be on the table for members of the Corpus Christi City Council?

Last month, the council voted to form a Charter Review Committee, with longer terms and increased council pay as its focus.

This isn’t the first time this topic’s come up.  During the last charter review, longer terms never made the ballot.  That was three years ago, when eight of the nine current council members weren’t in office yet.  Among them, District 2 Council Member Ben Molina, who is leading the charge this time… Because he believes two-year terms stunt the city’s growth.

“Had it not been for two-year term limits, we’d be a lot further along than we are right now,” said Molina.


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