Aransas County commissioners, at their regular meeting Monday, July 22, tabled with a 3-2 vote authorizing County Judge C.H. “Burt” Mills to sign an Interlocal Cooperative Agreement by and between the County of Aransas with the City of Rockport for the Preliminary Planning Phase of the Downtown Anchor Project. The Downtown Anchor Project is a joint venture between the county and city, which will include a new courthouse and city hall, as well as a common area. It will be located on land in the block, or on the block next to where the old courthouse stood.

Hurricane Harvey destroyed the courthouse and severely damaged city hall.

The court will hold a special meeting at 1:30 p.m. Thursday, July 25 to further discuss the interlocal agreement.

At Monday’s meeting Commissioner Jack Chaney first suggested tabling the issue, or discussing the agreement in executive session.

Mills said the county and city have “kicked the can down the road,” referring to matters dealing with the Downtown Anchor Project.

At issue are the two parties’ drafts of the agreement. The details have not been completely ironed out.

“Are we approving a draft?” asked Commissioner Wendy Laubach.

When asked if there is a deadline to approve the agreement, Aransas County Project Manager John Strothman said, “We need to get moving on this, but there is no set deadline.”

Chaney made the motion to table the issue until a future meeting (within 72 hours). Laubach seconded the motion. Chaney, Laubach and Commissioner Bubba Casterline voted to table the issue. Mills and Commissioner Charles Smith voted against tabling the issue.

At the July 25 meeting the commissioners will also:

• Discuss and update the progress and status of appointed Negotiators pursuant to Section 43.0562(b) of the Local Government Code regarding the progress of negotiations with the City of Aransas Pass and potential future litigation.

• Discuss, approve, or disapprove Supplemental payment(s) of $37,500 monthly to Code3ER, at the discretion of the county judge, from the county’s healthcare sales tax revenue, to help defray incurred costs of providing uncompensated medical care to uninsured residents of Aransas County.

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