GALVESTON — County commissioners preliminarily agreed to spend $260,000 to help the city pave Seawall Boulevard.

In a unanimous vote Thursday, the commissioners approved a lump-sum payment to the city that would be used to help repave the section of Seawall Boulevard between 39th Street and Ferry Road.

The approval came with conditions, however, which the Galveston City Council will have to agree to before work can begin. Among those conditions could be a stipulation that the city take responsibility of all future maintenance of the roadway. 

In a draft interlocal agreement passed out to commissioners, the two sides would clarify whose job it is to pay for maintenance of the roadway.

Precinct 1 Commissioner Ryan Dennard said he would not vote for an agreement if the city did not take responsibility for the job.

“I would support spending the money pursuant to an interlocal agreement that made clear that it was going to be a city responsibility going forward,” Dennard said. “I wouldn’t support spending without that interlocal agreement being signed.”

The city and county have negotiated for months over maintenance of the road. City officials say that the road is the county’s responsibility, because the pavement acts as a protective barrier to the seawall structure. 

County officials countered, saying the seawall structure is sound for now, and refusing to agree to a new cap until it is told to do so by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

In January, the council decided to use a $1.7 million federal grant and other sources to pay for the project, as well as to ask the county to contribute $260,000 toward overall improvements on the seawall.

The stipulation that the city agree to doing all future maintenance is a new wrinkle in situation.

Interim City Manager Brian Maxwell, who attended the meeting, said the city would have to review the proposed interlocal agreement before anything was decided. 

Mayor Lewis Rosen, who has called repaving the street a top priority for the city, said he was pleased to hear the commissioners agreed to contribute money, but had no comment about any added stipulations to that money.

After the meeting, Dennard said Tuesday’s vote was only the beginning of a process that will require more approvals before being finalized. Among the things to be decided is where, exactly, the county would take the money from to give to the city.

“I think commissioners were wanting to take the temperature of the court before everybody invested time into identifying where we’re going to transfer the money from,” Dennard said.

Contact reporter John Wayne Ferguson at 409-683-5226 or john.ferguson@galvnew.com.

(3) comments

Don Ciaccio

Compared to most streets in Galveston, the seawall is in great shape. We should use that grant money to pave some of the many streets that are in pathetic shape.

Jim Forsythe

How did it become Galveston's to pay for? It's Maintained by TxDOT
“FM 3005 was first designated in Galveston County in 1966; its western terminus was at 13 Mile Road. The route was lengthened to the boundary of Galveston Island State Park in 1972, and through the park and to the San Luis Pass Toll Bridge in 1988. The designation was officially changed to Urban Road 3005 (UR 3005) in 1995; as is the case with other urban roads, TxDOT continues to sign the route using the "Farm Road" shield”
The span “East end: Spur 342 to
Galveston West end: San Luis Pass Toll Bridge at Galveston”
“Maintained by TxDOT Length: 22.003 mi
Existed: 1966 – present”

Carlos Ponce

Must be City of Galveston maintained - otherwise how could the city charge you for parking on it? I just walked on Seawall from 57th to 25th during Mardi Gras. I walked on it from 14th to Wal-Mart in last year's Mardi Gras. It's in great shape. I agree with Don233. I asked a Mainland mayor who is responsible for its maintenance. He said the county is responsible for the Seawall, the City of Galveston for Seawall Boulevard.

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