Aransas County commissioners, at their regular meeting Monday, Aug. 12, approved the first or what will be multiple Interlocal Cooperative Agreements pertaining to the Downtown Anchor Project (DAP).

This first agreement is for the preliminary design and planning phase of the DAP.

Its purpose is to “memorialize the process for selection of the DAP design (architect) and Construction Manager Agent (CMA).”

It also defines the roles of each partner in relation to the planning and design of the DAP.

The DAP is a joint venture between the county and city, which will include a new courthouse and city hall, as well as a common area (Celebration Plaza). It will be located on land in the block, or on the block next to where the old courthouse stood.

“We need to get things going and this is a first step,” said County Judge C.H. “Burt” Mills.

Future agreements will cover construction and maintenance.

The county and city will have ownership of the property on which their building stands.

Rockport Mayor Pat Rios said, “We’re pleased to get this first step behind us.”

Funds for the DAP are from jointly-awarded public funding (FEMA 428) and insurance proceeds. The FEMA (428) funding and insurance proceeds will pay for the bulk of the DAP, projected to cost between $20.75 million and $21.995 million, with the county’s portion being roughly twice that of the city.

Other sources of funding, as shared by Aransas County Long Term Recovery Team member William Whitson in a joint meeting between the two entities July 8, include Rebuild Texas grants, Community Development Block Grant – Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR) grants, state contributions (unknown) and USAD loans (to cover any balance owed).

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