Leading by example: City moves to find answers for old, dilapidated buildings

SAN BENITO — The roofs are home to pigeons.

Windows are boarded up and structurally, there are issues.

This just partially describes buildings that have been empty for years and are an eyesore in San Benito.

City officials are looking to change that and in the process lead by example to enhance the visual appearance of the Resaca City.

There are two buildings on the top of the list — the Tomas Aguirre building on Sam Houston Boulevard and the former Lozano building at 200 W. Robertson Ave.

It looks like the city is closer to taking over Cameron County’s Tomas Aguirre building.

Mayor Celeste Sanchez said earlier this week that the county has offered the building to the city as a gift. That offer is contingent on the city accepting the building.

“Looks like some progress, finally,” she said.

Just more than a year ago, the city made a request to take over the building.

“Now, we’re just hoping someone is willing to renovate it,” she said.

The city will use the parking, which is located across the street from the building. That will not be “gifted” to the city, but county officials said it can be used.

The city is expected to further discuss the offer at its next meeting.

But, that wasn’t all that appears closer to being resolved.

San Benito Planning Director Fred Bell talked about the Lozano building, which is surrounded by existing businesses and needs to be torn down.

He said it’s long been vacant and an eyesore that needs to be demolished.

“We believe it is important to lead by example and comply with our ordinances,” he said. “We need to set standards and adhere to those if we expect the businesses and residents to do the same.”

Bell said more must be done on this property as the city awaits a second bid for demolition. He said officials are still trying to get into the building. There are two common walls in the building with the two current existing buildings.

“We are compromising the integrity of the businesses next to it,” he said.

Sanchez said it is important to lead by example and deal with the eyesore buildings that are not of historical value.

“The community will be glad to see something done with this,” she said.