Port of Corpus Christi and City of Port Aransas settle Harbor Island spat

Written by Nick Blenkey
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Port of Corpus Christi has plans to develop two VLCC berths at Harbor Island. [Image: Port of Corpus Christi]

Two Texas neighbors, the Port of Corpus Christi and the City of Port Aransas, have reached an agreement on the future development of Harbor Island. They say the agreement “amicably resolves all pending litigation” between them.

Harbor Island is situated in the eastern region of Nueces County along the Gulf Coast of Texas. Located along the northeast perimeter of Corpus Christi Bay, Harbor Island is located within the city limits of Aransas Pass and Port Aransas.

The Port of Corpus Christi has plans to develop an oil export terminal on the site with berths for two VLCCs.

Port and city leaders have been in settlement negotiations for many months, and the City of Port Aransas City Council authorized the approval of the agreement by a 7-0 vote on August 20. The Port Commission authorized the Port Commission Chairman and the Chief Executive Officer to finalize the settlement agreement at its July 21 commission meeting.

“We are thrilled to finally have reached an agreement with the City of Port Aransas on how to best move forward with the development of Harbor Island,” said Sean Strawbridge, Chief Executive Officer for the Port of Corpus Christi. “We value our relationships with local municipalities, and this agreement paves the way for more economic prosperity and public safety for the good citizens of Port Aransas. We thank Mayor Bujan, the entire City Council, and City Manager Dave Parsons for their leadership in reaching this accord, thereby endorsing a long-term collaborative view of the future of Harbor Island.”

”For a number of years, the City and Port Authority have been fighting over matters regarding each entity’s respective regulatory powers, and how conflicts between such powers should be resolved. This costly fight has recently spilled over into the courts. But, finally, by entering into an interlocal agreement the port and the city now have a workable framework in place to address development on Harbor Island, including oversight on city ordinance and permitting issues, and funding provisions to address fire protection and emergency services. The agreement also ends all of the litigation between the city and the port. Hopefully, this agreement can serve as a springboard for continued discussions with the port on Harbor Island and on other matters of mutual concern between the port and the city,” said Charles Bujan, Mayor of the City of Port Aransas.

“This agreement illustrates the willingness of both parties to resolve their differences without resorting to further litigation,” said Charles W. Zahn, Port of Corpus Christi Commission Chairman. “We are excited to continue collaborating with the City of Port Aransas.”

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