By ABBEY KUNKLE
After a closed executive session at their last meeting, the South Padre Island Convention and Visitors Advisory Board (CVA) made a recommendation to the City Council to proceed with further planning regarding potential SpaceX viewing sites and a Convention Centre Annex building. Councilman Dennis Stahl further explained the project at the City Council meeting later that afternoon.
In the 2015 legislative session, Stahl along with previous City Council Member Julee LaMure lobbied for a change at the state level to allow for Hotel Occupancy Tax (HOT) funds to be used toward SpaceX and ecotourism related infrastructure. House Bill 1717 was successful, allowing up to 15 percent of the HOT tax collected to be used for these expenses. The City hopes to capitalize on the potential monthly rocket launches, drawing in visitors and providing additional activities to extend their stay on the Island.
In early December, with the recommendation of the City Council, council members Stahl and Teresa Metty began participating in a subcommittee to get the ball rolling on ideas for a SpaceX viewing area.
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