Aransas County Navigation District (ACND) commissioners, at their special meeting Monday, March 22, approved a lease agreement with the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department (TPWD) for its leasehold at Rockport Harbor (surface and submerged land).

Harbor Master Keith Barrett noted the district did something it normally does no do regarding a lease.

“(They still had a couple of years) left on the lease, and we asked to renegotiate and carve out the space where the Aquarium at Rockport Harbor was located,” said Barrett.

He said by doing this, the future aquarium will be on its own lease, and not on the TPWD lease.

Barrett said working on the lease with a government agency (TPWD) generally takes longer than with private companies, and completion of the lease was delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“They have approved it and all it needs is our signature,” he said.

He also noted the TPWD is the original leaseholder with the ACND at Rockport Harbor.

The TPWD will pay $3,419 each year for the first five-year period of the lease. The next five years it will pay $7,500, followed by five years of $15,000 payments. Beginning the 16th year, the lease will be adjusted by applying the Consumer Price Index to the previous year’s rental rate.

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