A bill to give National Parks more money for maintenance is on the table and the Padre Island National Seashore desperately needs some of it.
This particular park has about a 16 million dollar backlog,” said William “Buzz” Botts, the parks Education Coordinator.
Meaning there are 16 million dollars worth of repairs that need to be done by the park that are not in the budget.
Pointing to a temperary housing unit for seasonal employees, Botts said, “this is a good example of some of the long overdue maintenance issues that we’ve got.”
The housing trailer is rusted and the roof is caving in.
“Due to the funding shortfalls, we couldn’t afford anything more and after a few years of service has been condemned,” said Botts.
And there is a building that looks like its been through a war and you wont believe what’s inside.
“This building houses the water tank for the south end of the park here,” Botts said.
And yes, people drink that water, but Buzz says the water is safe.
“Our water supply is good. We have people who monitor it we have trained staff that do testing,” said Botts.
Most of the maintenance issues deals with the parks infrastructure. Something that the average visitor wouldn’t be aware of but there is one pressing problem, a boat ramp damaged by Hurricane Harvey.
It’s the bird island basin boat ramp. The concrete ramp that goes into the water was somehow broken off by Harvey. To fix it, the park threw concrete blocks into the water; but they shifted and are now only about a foot and a half deep.
Gary Beavers, who is an avid fisherman found out the hard way. “I back in on the ramp in the right hand side and felt like there was concrete. Big rocks, big boulders, I hit my prop on the back and I’m not sure what’s in there but i can tell you I tore up my prop,” said Beavers.
“It’s got real potential for problems. It needs to be fixed,” concluded Botts.
There is no timetable for the bill. But for ten bucks, you and your family can still visit the seashore and enjoy the day.