Aransas Pass, Texas, Monday, April 19, 2021—Speaking at the noon meeting of the Rotary Club of Aransas Pass, Charles Bujan recalled, just a few months after taking office as Mayor of Port Aransas, how August 25-26, 2017 (Hurricane Harvey), and events following, changed his and this small town’s life.
            Hurricane Harvey’s destruction and damage was enormous. Eighty percent of the residential and commercial properties were either destroyed or severely damaged. Repairs continue even today. There is no realistic way to put a dollar figure on the economic and psychological damage.
            Attracting up to 4 and 5 million visitors a year as one of the most popular seaside destination spots in the nation, the extensive Short Term Rental (STR) industry and supporting local service, retail, and recreational businesses were particularly hard hit.
            Finding affordable housing for rebuild and repair workmen, and entry level wage earners needed in the local service oriented businesses as they reopened was an ongoing problem fueled by the high cost of land for and construction of residential or long term housing during this time and now.
            Bujan was pleased to report that the city, with the help of several disaster organizations and generous investors, has started a $38 million, approximately 181 unit, Workforce Housing Project which should be completed sometime this year—all at no expense to local tax payers.
            Although slowed by the Covid-19 pandemic starting in March 2020 and the statewide 2021 Valentine freeze disaster, Bujan is optimistic about the progress being made in the recovery from all these natural disasters. He said that recovery from all the challenges of the past three and one-half years could not have been accomplished without the help and support of the loyal and dedicated citizens of Port Aransas.
Picture:  Charles Bujan, Mayor of Port Aransas
Article Submitted by Ronnie Yeager
Picture Submitted by Karen Gayle
May 23, 2021