Port Aransas South Jetty (Port Aransas, Tex.), Vol. 36, No. 29, Ed. 1 Thursday, July 20, 2006 Page: 1 of 24
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Thursday, July 20, 2006
||^ARA®S TX 7B370-AU8
tLU 700 W'e|t 78373
•PORT ARANSAS, TEXA
Vol. 36 No. 29
Covering Port Aransas on Mustang Island
Staff photos by Murray Judson
Course takes shape
Craig Millard, above, of Texas Gulf and
Harbor, Ltd., developers of the 18-hole
Arnold Palmer signature golf course,
describes progress on the links-style
course under construction (photo at left)
south of Beach Access Road 1A. The
course, which will be open to the public,
is expected to be completed in the fall of
2007, and open soon thereafter.
Port Aransas surfer Morgan
Faulkner is making waves.
A Port Aransas fishing team
brought home a big win from
Kids on the move
The Port Aransas Parks and
Recreation Department is
keeping kids busy.
Dart meeting 9A
•Tony Amos 4B
•Joy Morrow 12A
•Kate Williams 10A
Law enforcement 5B
Island agenda 2A
Cactus Pryor 3A
Dave McNeely 3A
Steve Martaindale 3A
Mary Henkel Judson 3A
Letters to the editor 3A
Fishing report 8A
Parks & Rec 11A
Church directory 4A
Classified Ads 6-12B
south jetty newspaper plu#
Golf is in the ' fore 'cast
Course should be complete in fall 2007, open soon after
By Dan Parker
South Jetty reporter
In 2002, Craig Millard announced plans for
Newport Villages, a development on both sides
of State Hwy. 361 that is expected to include
more than 2,000 homes, more than one hotel,
a boat marina and an 18-hole signature Arnold
Palmer links-style course.
Millard, a former president of Merrill Lynch
Real Estate, is partnering in the overall project
with Sunny Castor of Port Aransas.
Construction has begun on one golf course,
with heavy equipment moving tons of soil along
more than 200 acres of land on both sides of the
highway just south of Beach Access Road 1 A.
Millard, who lives in Palm Beach, Fla., and
Newport, R.I., recently was interviewed by
the South Jetty about the golf course. Here are
some of the basics of the course, as explained
• The first three holes of the course will lie on
47 acres of land on the bay side of State Hwy.
361. The remaining 15 holes will stretch along
190 acres on the beach side of the highway, with
some of the fairways winding amid dunes.
They are the Mecca of golf
courses, if it's a true links
Texas Gulf & Harbor, Ltd.
• It will be an Arnold Palmer signature course,
which means the world-famous pro golfer per-
sonally is overseeing decisions involved in how
the course is designed and built. "He is taking
great pride in this course," Millard said.
• It will be a par 71 course with more than
7,000 yards of fairways and greens. The lengths
of various holes are not set in stone, but the
longest hole right now is the 10th hole, at 590
• Millard said he expects the course to be
suitable for everyone from beginning golfers to
pros, with five tee boxes for each hole.
• Millard said the course probably will be
"largely finished" in fall 2007 and open to the
public "sometime shortly after that." He said
he could not be specific about opening dates
because weather could affect construction ef-
• No decisions have been made about the cost
of using the course, Millard said, adding that "a
lot depends on usage."
• It will be a public golf course in that anyone
can play if they get an appointment, a tee time.
However, the course will be privately owned and
retain some characteristics of a private course,
including a dress code. Some facilities will be
private, he said.
• It will be a links-style course. Links courses
can vary some in appearance, but a traditional
links course likely will be seaside, with sandy
soil, a natural layout, natural seaside grasses, few
if any trees, and many small, deep bunkers.
The course will be on both sides of the high-
way because it would have been too cramped
to keep it all on one side, Millard said. Because
the course will be on both sides of the highway,
golf carts will have to get from one side of the
highway to the other, but just how that will hap-
pen has not yet been decided.
"It's really up to TxDOT (the Texas Depart-
ment of Transportation)," Millard said. "I don't
want to get into their politics, but they have their
Please see 'Golf',' 6A
Airport puts best foot, er, wing forward
is seed money to
By Phil Reynolds
South Jetty reporter
It hardly puts Port Aransas' Mustang
Beach Airport in the same class as Dal-
las-Fort Worth International, but it's a
big step forward. Mustang Beach now
has attendants - at least temporarily
and on a part-time basis.
Randy Hansen and John Conkin are
at the airport on weekends, thanks to
an anonymous grant that's intended to
act as seed money in hopes of getting
full-time people at the airport. The
grant is enough to put the two on the
job through Labor Day. After that, it
will be up to the city to come up with
funding for the positions, if it intends
to extend them.
It's only one of several recent
improvements at Mustang Beach
that bring the once-quiet little island
airport into direct competition with
larger fields such as T.C. McCampbell
Airport in Aransas Pass and Aransas
County Airport in Rockport.
The improvements include AWOS,
an automatic weather service for pilots
that will give local weather with a
phone call, and a navigation system
that's almost as good as the high-dollar
Instrument Landing System used by
commercial airports. The new system
Future of flying
Staff photo by Murray Judson
Pilot Jim Atkinson readies his bi-plane for take-off at the Mustang Beach Airport. Once a basic airport
Mustang Beach Airport is being groomed as a full service airport.
will let fliers navigate to within 265 the ground in inclement weather. end, said Keith Donley, chairman of
teet or the ground in cloudy or rainy That's important to people who the city's airport board.
weather; previously they could only might contemplate flying to Port "Before, you might have to land at
legally descend to within 1,500 feet of Aransas for a vacation or for a week- Aransas County (Airport), rent a car,
PAISD won't sell bonds
fight the ferry, and drive over here,"
Donley said. "Now, you know you can
leave Dallas or San Antonio and come
directly to Port Aransas."
Donley noted that "there are only
three ways onto the island - auto,
boat or airplane." The improvements
at Mustang Beach are also a sign that
the city is wakening to the impact fli-
ers can have, Donley contends.
"The city seems to recognize that
the airport is a valuable asset," he
noted. "Someone who flies in here
from Dallas for a weekend will rent
a car or take a taxi, rent a hotel room
and eat at local restaurants. It can be
City Manager Michael Kovacs
agreed that the city is paying more
attention to its airport.
"The city council has made the
airport a priority," he said. "There's an
airport element in the comprehensive
Kovacs said the city staff has
worked hard with the airport board
on improvements at the airport, but
agrees that there's still much that can
be done there.
"What we need to do is come in
with a far-reaching airport layout and
plan," he said. Already part of the
Texas Department of Transportation
(TxDOT) system, the airport is not
yet on the funding list of the Federal
Aviation Administration (FAA), the
Please see 'Airport', 11A
Staff photo by Phil Reynolds
Going all 'out'
Robert Chapman of Bulverde
won the red snapper division
at the Outboard Fishing
Tournament last weekend.
Turn to Page 7A for more
photos and complete results.
By Dan Parker
South Jetty reporter
Because of the Legislature's chang-
es in the public school finance system,
trustees of the Port Aransas Indepen-
dent School District have decided
against selling bonds to pay for roof
work and purchases of a new bus and
Superintendent Billy Wiggins and
the school board promoted a "mini-
bond" issue last spring to raise money
for the roof work and vehicles, and
voters approved the bond issue May
Promoting the bond issue while
speaking to community groups before
the election, Wiggins said it was pos-
sible the school board would dissolve
the bond issue even if voters approved
it. That would happen, Wiggins said,
if the Legislature made moves on
school finance reform that would
make it more financially feasible for
the school district to not use the bond
issue to raise the money, but obtain the
money through another method.
The Legislature did end up mak-
ing those changes with House Bill
1, Wiggins said. And so Wiggins
recommended to trustees that the
bonds not be sold. Wiggins made the
recommendation when trustees met
Tuesday, July 11.
Agreeing with Wiggins, trustees
then took no action on an agenda
item that would have ordered the
bond sale. That, in effect, dissolved
the bond issue.
HB 1 required that school districts
set their 2006-07 tax rates at 88.67
percent of the 2005-06 rate for dis-
tricts ' maintenance-and-operations
sides of their budgets. However, HB
1 also allowed school districts dis-
cretion to raise the tax rate as much
Please see 'School', 4A
to meet with
By Phil Reynolds
South Jetty reporter
The city's so-called "tax revolt"
may be bearing fruit already.
Last week, city officials met
with appraisers from the Nueces
County Appraisal District to protest
skyrocketing property values in
Port Aransas. City Manager Mi-
chael Kovacs also sent a letter to
Texas Comptroller Carole Keeton
Please see 'City', Page 9A
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Judson, Mary Henkel. Port Aransas South Jetty (Port Aransas, Tex.), Vol. 36, No. 29, Ed. 1 Thursday, July 20, 2006, newspaper, July 20, 2006; Port Aransas, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth409967/m1/1/: accessed November 14, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Ellis Memorial Library.