A future full of ideas

SOUTH PADRE ISLAND — City leaders are planning for the future to attract more tourists with more fun for everyone.

The council is working on adding new amenities to the island to attract more visitors and to extend their stay.

Mayor Bharap R. Patel held the state of the city address Wednesday night before a regular city council meeting.

Patel talked about the financial condition of the city and a new city park in the works.

Planning also is in the works to improve the bay side of the island.

And there are plans for a large amphitheater to host concerts.

In his address Patel reported the city has received the highest form of recognition for governmental reporting of finances and has a 6-month reserve and a balanced budget.

Patel also said in his address hotel tax revenue is up $50,000.

The city has collected $420,000 in sales tax and $4.2 million in property tax collections.

The mayor also said the city is moving toward a more pedestrian-friendly atmosphere.

“The city is becoming proactively biker friendly and pedestrian friendly,” Patel said.

The city also has plans to make a new park with a soccer field, basketball court and skate park.

“We want kids to get out in the open,” Patel said. “Don’t just bring your flip-flops here, but bring your bicycle, bring your skateboard here, bring your basketball and really have a fun couple of days at South Padre.”

Patel said South Padre is a great place to live and do business.

“We will have everything in walking distance and we offer free transportation,” Patel said about the direction the city is heading. “You don’t need a car in South Padre Island.”

Most of the grant applications the city is applying for have to do with walking lanes, nature walks and bicycle lanes.

“We have made a lot of progress over the last two or three years,” said Sam Listi, former council member. “The Island is in very good shape for the future.”