A group that is pushing for neighborhood street repairs before any talks of Destination Bayfront held their first town hall meeting on Thursday night.
The group calls themselves Neighborhoods First, and they have shown opposition to the plan in the past. Destination Bayfront is a proposed plan that would turn the area where the Memorial Coliseum used to be into a first-class tourist attraction, but the local group wants the City to focus on fixing our streets before spending money on the downtown project.
More than two dozen residents turned out to the Corpus Christi Firefighters Association Hall on Ayers Street, where the meeting was held, to hear from Neighborhoods First about the project, which will be decided on by voters in a November election.
Neighborhoods First committee member Sam Dalton believes streets need to continue to be the top priority for the City.
"If we had the total money available to rebuild our neighborhood streets that Destination Bayfront will eventually cost, and you learn more about that tonight, then we could rebuild, oh 80, 81-percent of our residential streets," Dalton said.
The project would fund development of 34 acres of City-owned land near the site of the old Coliseum into pedestrian and bike friendly areas, as well as upgrades to Sherrill Park and other amenities, including shops and restaurants.
While the committee made their case, Councilman David Loeb, a Destination Bayfront advocate, said the City is spending 10 times more on streets now than it was a year ago.
"We doubled our street maintenance budget because we agreed we need to do streets, but we also need to make other investments in our community to make our community move forward," Loeb said. "Destination Bayfront, the ideas in it, are the ideas of the community."
Loeb said attracting more businesses with the park would add to the City's tax base to help repair roads and sewers.
The nearly $45 million Destination Bayfront project will be decided on by voters on the Nov. 5 ballot.
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