Share RelatedIsland to re-brand Spring BreakBy KEVIN RICH Special to the PRESS The South Padre Island City Council continued discussions regarding Spring Break related policies in its Wednesday, April 19 meeting. Mayor Patel opened the discussions on a proposed Spring Break/mass gathering ordinance and the short-term rentals/neighborhood issues, stating these items would be on the agenda…April 28, 2017In “News”Island crunches data at Spring Break debriefing sessionBy KEVIN RICH Special to the PRESS South Padre Island Mayor Dennis Stahl introduced the Spring Break public debriefing meeting held on Wednesday, June 13, stating that over the past two years, “the City has become much more strategic, analytical, and data driven.” Stahl emphasized a commitment to transparency. “This evening…June 22, 2018In “News”Spring Break events to undergo stricter scrutinyBy KEVIN RICH Special to the PRESS The issue of Spring Break was at the front and center once again for the South Padre Island City Council during its, Wednesday, July 5 meeting, as they discussed a proposed amendment of the mass gathering ordinance. “We all know special events have a…July 14, 2017In “News” By KEVIN RICHSpecial to the PRESSThe South Padre Island City Council considered several agenda items related to Spring Break, the venue tax, and shoreline related issues in its April 5 meeting.Mayor Barry Patel introduced the Spring Break related agenda items stating, “We will be having several meetings in the future about the mass gathering ordinance. The public will have many opportunities to speak in the future.”SPI City Manager Susan Guthrie presented the debriefing process the City is undertaking to analyze this issue. She began by stating that Spring Break has a major impact on the City and community in terms of revenue, expenditures, staffing, risk and reputation. “The high volume of visitors and associated traffic, trash, crime and medical needs are taxing the system,” said Guthrie. She went on to explain the City will be collecting extensive Spring Break related data from many sources, including public safety, code enforcement, public works, shoreline, parks, fleet, fire, EMS, beach patrol, technology, municipal courts, and finance. They will perform ‘SWOT’ analysis, looking at strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats, as a part of the process.“I think it’s a great way to approach this,” commented Council Member Pitcock. He went on to emphasize the importance of collecting and analyzing data to come up with solutions, as opposed to making “knee jerk reactions.”Council next considered authorizing the city manager to form a subcommittee to review, research and make recommendations regarding implementation of a mass gathering ordinance. Guthrie proposed that the subcommittee be comprised of city staff, two council members, two members from the business community, a member from Property Owners Who Care (POWC) and one citizen at large. “Public input begins now and it continues for the next two and a half months,” Patel said. He emphasized the urgency for coming up with an actionable item for this issue by July, to allow for the planning of Spring Break 2018.Want the whole story? Pick up a copy of the Port Isabel-South Padre Press, or subscribe to our E-Edition by clicking here.
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In a last minute move, Congress passed a so called “Omnibus” funding Bill to fund the U.S. government for the year 2016, which included a provision to extend the popular EB-5 Investor Visa (Green Card) program until September 30, 2016.The Bill extends the program without any changes, including allowing investors to continue to receive Green Cards through Regional Centers and business investments in specified areas within the U.S. for $500,000. This came as a big surprise, since a bipartisan deal had already been agreed on by both Democrats and Republicans to drastically reform the program, including increasing the minimum investment to between $800,000 to $1.2 Million. However, in the end, due to the complexity of new provisions in the proposed measure, Congress opted instead to spend additional time work out the technical details before making the new program permanent.