Hockema announces success of festivities – Port Isabel-South Padre Press

Special to the PRESS

The Port Isabel City Council convened their meeting promptly at 7 p.m. on April 11, 2023, with Mayor Martin Cantu Jr. presiding. Present were Commissioners Sandra Holland, Martin C. Cantu, Carmen Rios, and Jeffery David Martinez. The meeting began with the reading of the minutes, as there was no previous business to discuss.

City Manager Jared Hockema then announced the success of the Easter festivities, which were covered by and made the front page of The Brownsville Herald. It also garnered thousands of views on Facebook Live. Hockema, with the assistance of Chief Robert Lopez, also introduced two new police officers, Carlos De Los Santos, and Jose Umberto Salinas, on the advice of Commissioner Rios.

Mayor Cantu called for new business, and the council discussed and approved an action to allow Change Order No. 1 for the improvements to Washington Ave. (State Hwy 100 to Pennsylvania Ave) Project TDA TXCDBG Project No. CDV21-0338. According to Hockema, the engineer provided a change order to substitute lime-stabilizing base material with geo-grid material, which would allow for seamless installation, reducing the time frame and saving the city $3,000 net. However, there were concerns about the material’s inability to withstand traffic for an extended period without damage, which could lead to a loss of overall effectiveness. The motion passed unanimously, with Hockema agreeing to address the council’s concerns with the engineers.

The council then moved on to awarding an administrative services contract, pursuant to a statute of the HOME Program, which requires an administrator to work with the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs every quarter regarding grants allocated to the city by the HOME Program. Hockema recommended Langford Community Management Services, based on the city’s previous experience with them on multiple projects, to handle the Homeowner Rehabilitation Assistance Program. The motion was unanimously approved.

Ms. Ana Naumann from the Port Isabel High School proposed the use of the city pool for a class project from May 15-17. Concerns were raised regarding the availability of lifeguards during the peak tourist season. The motion passed unanimously, with an addendum that the school should provide sufficient lifeguards to ensure student safety.

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