Aransas County Navigation District commissioners, at their regular meeting Monday, Nov. 18, approved the public bid process for the Rockport Beach Bird Observation Deck, ACND maintenance annex building, and a building located at Business Highway 35 S. and South Cove Harbor Drive.

Harbor Master Keith Barrett said the design for the new bird observation deck is about 90 percent complete, and he is waiting on the engineer to ready the plans for bid.

Commissioner Judy Vlasek asked if the new observation deck will be the exact same as the one Harvey destroyed.

Barrett said the new deck will have a thatched roof, as opposed to a wooden flat roof, and the ramps will all be ADA compliant.

It was noted by Chairman Malcolm Dieckow that each of the projects are being funded by FEMA, but what FEMA has granted, and what bids might be, could be quite different.

“Once we get the bids, and see what FEMA offers, we will sit down with them (FEMA) and discuss the differences,” said Barrett.

He noted it is not unusual for a FEMA estimate to be out of line with what a project actually costs to construct in this area.

In regard to the ACND maintenance annex building, Barrett said bids will most surely be higher than what FEMA has authorized. This is due to FEMA’s estimate including only what was there, and not reflecting the required ADA compliant parking lot.

“What was there was ugly,” said Dieckow. “What will be there will be much more aesthetically pleasing.”

The building on South Cove Harbor Drive is the one originally occupied by Captain Billy’s Wife’s Place.

“It will be a metal building on a slab, not pier and beam,” said Barrett. “It will be a nice new building with an office and open layout.”

The tenant can decide the interior design.

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