Spaceport board named - Brownsville Herald: Local News

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Posted: Saturday, February 16, 2013 12:00 pm

In a unanimous vote, Cameron County Commissioners Court appointed seven directors to the Cameron County Spaceport Development Corp.

The appointments are temporary and will expire in three months when the directors can either resign or ask to stay on. Afterward, staggered one- and two-year terms will be set, Precinct 2 Commissioner Ernie Hernandez said.

“This is a step in the right direction,” he said. “We want to be ready, and we’ve been approached by other companies beside SpaceX looking for launch sites. Hopefully, this will be the beginning of many future ventures with space in our area.”

Precinct 3 Commissioner David Garza concurred, saying these were the right candidates and a unanimous vote demonstrates that.

“It was the next step of what needed to be done as far as the county was concerned to continue moving forward with the project,” Garza said.

The Spaceport Development Corp. will work like any economic development corporation. It is charged with courting and attracting people and companies to invest in the space industry to Cameron County.

“Basically to expose the South Texas-South Padre Island area as the new frontier,” Hernandez said.

County commissioners created the organization last month.

Precinct 1 Commissioner Sofia C. Benavides was enthusiastic about the group.

“Basically, I’m excited for them to start with their first meeting and preparation of bylaws and everything that goes with it,” she said. “I think the whole area is going to be pleased with whom we have appointed, and I look forward to progress on this project.”

Both Benavides and Hernandez said that with the University of Texas merger in the Valley, the prospect of SpaceX and the projected second causeway to the Island, big changes are coming.

“We’re on the verge of exploding,” Hernandez said. “It looks like it’s all coming together.”

Benavides said things are starting to fall into place.

“I will tell you that space technology and development is new to the area, at least in the last few years,” she said. “I believe that we can all work together to secure the SpaceX project here in Cameron County.

SpaceX filed for an environmental impact study for the area last year. Results of that study are still pending.

Hernandez said SpaceX and the university merger will change the way people think about the Rio Grande Valley.

mreagan@brownsvilleherald.com

 AT A GLANCE

Cameron County Commissioners’ Court unanimously appointed 7 people to serve as directors to the Cameron County Spaceport Development Corp. The following individuals will serve three-month terms:

  • Robert Gracia
  • John Guevara
  • Yolanda DeLeon
  • Christian Villarreal
  • Nick Serafy Jr.
  • Charlie Cabler
  • Eddie Sikes

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