The Friends of the Texas would like to know, if not at Seawolf Park, then where?

Is there any other site in Texas that would generate more revenue than Seawolf Park? It’s clearly not Baytown or Beaumont. There are simply no guarantees as to revenue anywhere. But Seawolf Park offers options no other site offers, and the possibilities at Seawolf Park are infinitely greater than elsewhere. So, we have to ask why not Seawolf Park?

There will be cost considerations anywhere that ship is berthed.

The state of Texas will need to step up again. The $35 million initially allotted to repair and move the ship was woefully insufficient. There are dredging costs, berthing and providing for utilities once berthed, and there are miscellaneous costs associated with the site depending on the choice of site.

The state has tens of millions of dollars unencumbered now, as well as access to the billions of Biden infrastructure funds if approved. There are grants available from a multitude of sources.

Ironic that the Battleship Texas Foundation seeks to dock that ship in the only place that will charge for dock space. The Port of Galveston exists to generate revenue, and dock fees are a source for that revenue. Significant space now and into the future is needed for cruise ships that are a huge economic benefit to our island. The Pier 21 space is worth somewhere around $500,000 annually, and the port can’t give that away. The foundation can’t pay that cost for dock space.

That leaves Seawolf Park by default. There’s no other viable alternative. The foundation has been talking to Beaumont and Baytown authorities, and no agreement has been reached to my knowledge. The dock cost and lack of tourism are the main obstacles. The foundation’s resistance to Seawolf Park is because of the Cavalla Foundation.

The Friends of the Texas believe Seawolf Park adjacent to the USS Cavalla and the USS Stewart is the best place for the Texas. We’ve lobbied for that, written guest columns and letters to the editor with The Galveston County Daily News and advertised with full page ads. We distributed bumper stickers and yard signs and discussed it at meetings and various civic clubs, as well as the park board.

The Veterans of Foreign Wars and American Legion have both voted unanimously in favor of the Seawolf Park site. We’ve also discussed it with representatives of the Galveston Naval Museum in the context of a consideration of a Museum of the World Wars.

There are eight battleship monuments, but the Texas was the first and should be preserved and preserved in Galveston for all Texans and others to celebrate and honor her history.

Our intent is to keep this issue in the public eye. That ship belongs to the state of Texas, and there’s no place better suited for that ship than Galveston as its home. That’s why you see those yard signs and bumper stickers to “Bring Her Home.” It’s where she belongs.

Charles Wiley lives in Galveston.

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(18) comments

Walter Dannenmaier

Seawolf Park! And restore the guns. We may well need them one day.

Steve Smigosky

Here’s a “tourist” outside view. As someone who spent 2 months visiting Galveston last summer I toured Seawolf park. The Strand/docks area already has sufficient activity and attractions. The Texas added to Seawolf park would be a perfect match. Create a true destination attraction. Hospitality strong Galveston would greatly benefit economically overall.

Gary Scoggin

While I would love to see the Texas at Seawolf Park, I don’t want to see it done with additional public money. There should be benefactors willing to donate funds or financiers willing to foot the costs to be offset by future admission fees. If that is not viable then you have to wonder whether or not keeping the Texas anywhere is really a good use of anyone’s money.

Charles Wiley

Gary, re-read my column. I don’t expect that the city would underwrite the additional cost of the Texas. The state owns that ship. There is state money available, grants from foundations are available but the Battleship Texas Foundation is established for that purpose in part. The state and the Foundation will need to step up.

Gary Scoggin

Foundation money is fine for me. State government money is not.

Jose' Boix

Access to me continues to be the primordial element in any development of that area. Somehow the discussions should or must include the access factor. Just my thoughts.

Jack Cross

Jose, you are exactly correct. The city of Galveston and the Park Board should step thing up and push the state to build the new bridge. The state this year has a windfall of cash plus they will get billions from the infrastructure bill.

The city will have the final say about the Battleship Texas. Now is the time for the state to open up discussions, hear proposals and let the bidders know what the state is willing to contribute. Not knowing what the state will do, makes things a hard sell.of a once in a lifetime opportunity.

Charles Wiley

There has been agreement between the Navigation District, the County, and the City for funding. Funds are now in place. Also, that road will need to be improved if this thing is gonna work.

George Laiacona

Additional ways to spread this information is needed.

Ted Gillis

Galveston should not be eligible for any of the infrastructure funds, because our congressman voted against the bill. Remember that. Give the ship to some other district that has a congress person that voted for the bill. Heck, drag it up Buffalo Bayou to Sheila Jackson Lee’s district! Or here’s a thought. Leave it right were she is. Who’s stupid idea was it to move her anyway? It’s not a carnival attraction, nor a money maker, so the Fertitta’s of this world are not interested in her.

Charles Wiley

Pretty nutty stuff Ted!

Gary Scoggin

Ted, rest assured Randy will be front and center taking credit for every infrastructure bill dollar that flows into this district.

Carlos Ponce

"Randy will be front and center taking credit for every infrastructure bill dollar that flows into this district." - Only those few items that are actually worthwhile "infrastructure", not the [excrement].

Carlos Ponce

"because our congressman voted against the bill." So that must mean Ted is for EVERYTHING on the bill! Along with the few good thins on that bill there was a lot of [excrement]. Ted must love [excrement].

Carlos Ponce

From the desk of Randy Weber:

This bill is problematic on so many levels. Here are just a few of the questions and concerns I have with the current infrastructure package.

Not true infrastructure: Only $110 billion of the so-called $1 trillion-plus bipartisan infrastructure package goes toward road, bridges, and other major projects that the American people generally consider “infrastructure,” according to an analysis done by Club for Growth. The remaining $1 trillion are “Green New Deal provisions.

Builds on Green New Deal plan to replace air travel with trains: Includes $66 billion to help fulfill AOC’s vision for massive expansions of Amtrak and other rail while explicitly eliminating taxpayer accountability from Amtrak’s mission.

Fixes ‘racism’ in highways: Part of the $110 billion earmarked for rebuilding roads/bridges is dedicated to fixing the “racism physically built into some of our highways” Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg described.

Gives “woke” regulators oversight on broadband expansion: Gives regulators oversight to decide where and when broadband expansion occurs and mandates regulators not use federal funds in a way that discriminates on the basis of “gender identity,” according to our friends at American Principles Project.

Favors people who live in blue cities: Electric vehicle owners, who overwhelmingly live in blue cities, will get $15 billion in the form of infrastructure for their electric, zero-emission, and low-emission plug-in vehicles.

Pushes Left’s social justice mission: The term “equity” is included 64 times.

Too long to comprehend: At 2,701 pages, the average reader who reads 55 pages an hour would have to spend 49 straight hours reading to finish reading the full bill.

The package calls for $550 billion in new spending over 5 years, but the bill won’t even cover that amount in offsets over 10 years.

Trojan horse for the radical Pelosi/Biden agenda: Speaker Pelosi promised: “I won’t put it on the floor until we have … the rest of the initiative.” No one should support something that will serve as a trojan horse for the Democrats’ reconciliation package, which the White House wants to use to pass massive amnesty.

Jack Cross

Ted both democrats agree on infrastructure. The vote against was because of all the pork in the bill and only 23 percent toward infrastructure. If Green energy is so good, then why is it always being subsidized? The nation's infrastructure system earned a C – score from the American Society of Civil Engineers.

Democrats claim the legislation pays for itself through a multitude of measures and without raising taxes. But the Congressional Budget Office said not so, finding the package would add $256 billion to the deficit.

Charles Wiley

Pearl Harbor is one of those days that we take stock in the sacrifices made by those in defense of our country. Monument ships such as the USS Texas help us remember those sacrifices. Help us save that great ship by supporting the move to Galveston and to Seawolf Park. A museum of the World Wars developed at Seawolf Park could easily become a national destination that lives for generations to remember and celebrate the greatness of our country and the service of our veterans.

Jack Reeves

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