The Brazosport Facts from Freeport, Texas on September 22, 1968 · Page 38
Get access to this page with a Free Trial

The Brazosport Facts from Freeport, Texas · Page 38

Freeport, Texas
Issue Date:
Sunday, September 22, 1968
Page 38
Start Free Trial

JUR: New breath of life for FP S ^__^_^_^^^^^__^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^BIB^MHHHHH i % FREEPOHT - It wai like «"'** breath of new tUe when the ^walttnf mayor and other city A>rticials received the election fc»«itcome. « the Urban Renewal deci- *4ton was almost literally so. st fey an overwhelming,' flve- • to-one vote, citizens chose to 'furnish the credit that would jhelp bring to lite the biggest 'portion of the yet-undeveloped ',land in the city. * Out second, Mayor T. C. Selinan tell that the majority given the approval was a show of civic spirit that nothing previously had activated to that r degree. fi With the program and the "financing already in hand, only fjftm time needed for legal work IJItood between Freeport and Another sharp spurt of growth, Selman felt. v» He predicted that by five /years after the Urban Renewal area land is secured, It will be fully developed. This ^ould mean anesttmated 4,000 Unore persons in the city — 'more if any substantial amount fjbf the land went into apartment housing. :,; At the same time, he felt that remaining land south of the Old Brazos, plus scattered -vacant lots, would have filled in with something like another jl.000. ?* "What we're looking at," he Said, "is a city of about 20,000 !$y 1975. Long before then, we'll be looking toward the land west of the Diversion Channel for further expansion." That was where Freeport had looked first, before consolidating with Velasco. The Slaughter Road area was annexed, and a bond issue some while later provided funds for levee protection. But because of drainage problems, the protection proved much more costly than anticipated. It was not carried out. By then the city's growth had virtually stopped. Freeport had been one of the fastest-growing cities in the early fifties, reaching a population of about 11,000 by the end of the decade. -, But then with acreage tracts ..virtually gone from inside the levees, the influx of new residents slowed to a trickle. All the while, there was in old Velasco something like 200 totally undeveloped blocks. i it was high land, so that drainage would be no problem. Ordinarily, it would have been the first in the area to be covered with houses after Dow came. ' Except that legal problems Tendered most of its useless, and these problems defied at- temps to solve them for many decades. The land was divided into '25 -foot lots, and mostly each tiny lot had a different owner. This made the land so worthless that the heirs of many distant owners didn't know it was theirs. '•':' After many fruitless trials, the City Council just over two years ago began investigating the possibility that Urban Renewal might wipe out the legal defects. City Atty. Waynw Holder deter mined that it could indeed be done, through an "open spaces" provision for rehabilitating blighted but undeveloped land. The original plan was to acquire the whole 200 blocks, through negotiation or the Urban Renewal provisions for condemnation. It would be completely replatted, deviating from the city's straight streets and rectangular blocks, and completely developed, even to parks and landscaping, ready for homebuilding. Twice the plan was rejected by the federal government. The first time was an opinion by the U. S. Housing and Urban Development office In Ft. Worth that the federal provisions for "open space" projects had been omitted from the Texas Urban Renewal Law. The state attorney general held otherwise. But to remove this from the consideration, the city had Rep. Neil Caldwell amend the Texas law to include "open space" measures. But later, HUD again rejected the plan, saying that as an administrative decision, the purpose of Urban Renewal was to move people out of slum areas. "Open space" projects were approved only when their purpose was to locate people moved out of slums as a result of more ordinary Urban Renewal projects. With that, the Council decided to take their business elsewhere. They dropped the federal idea, and decided on several points of curtailment of the project. First, citizens willing, the city would use its own money to buy or condemn the land. Second, the 200-block would be cut back to Include only the most desirable portions. The eventual plan wound up with 82 1/2 blocks. Third, there would be none or little development by public funds. All the city would do with Urban Renewal powers would be to erase the substandard lot lines and clear the titles. The land would be resold, giving former owners first choice of land comparable to that they had given up. This was the basis for the city's proposal of a $500,000 bond Issue on Sept. 7.Citizens approved with a light turnout but very heavy margin. Mayor Selman pledged swift action. The land would be made available to new citizens as quickly as legal machinery could be made to move, he •aid. And at the same time, he planned to begin looking toward the time the city's further need for growing room might make it look westward, with plans to give levee protection to the huge area across the Diversion Channel. WeldinG Supply FlilFOIT SALIS ft SIIVICI CINTII OXYGEN, NITROGEN, ACETYLENE WELDING MACHINES, ELECTRODES REGULATORS, TORCHES JACKSON SAFETY PRODUCTS GRINDING WHEELS ••< WIRE IRUSHES-MEDKAL CASES DIM TEL 233-2663 •14 tt MU INI IllirOW, WAS * PAGE 1C, Drazorla County, § TIIK DRA/OSI'ORT FACTS, [•'ronport, Ti>xas, Sunday. Sept*. 22, 1900 LEROY IIAVKKLAII, loft, tlic new supervisor of the Brazorln County Unit of the. State Child Welfare t)ept..w\ becnn Ills ilullcsabout mid- January, lip holds a master's degree from Tulane University's School of Social Work>. where he graduated In June of 1007. II avert ah. 28, lives In • Anglelon. lie Is worklnR In close contact with the Count > Child Welfare Advisory Hoard, mtule up of" members from all points 01 (ho county. NORTH OF GULF BLVD. in Freeport lies a large area of land that is presently empty. With the recent passage of the Urban Renewal bonds, the city hopes that they can clear up titles to the land and create a residential area. Rurmlngacross the foreground Is Highway 288. Gulf Blvd. Is just outside the right border of the photo and the most prominent building pictured is Clyde V. Lee Motors. THELMA'S Auto Color Service R&M ENAMELS & LACQUERS [MJ 61 1 N. Gulf Blvd. 233-3031 FREEPORT, TEXAS 1 ...a word that means great things can happen ...when people get together, for the good and growth of a community. From such efforts come the greatness of a nation, and the achievements of an era. We are proud of our addition to a progressive area-proud/ too, to share with them in working toward future goals, growth and gains. Wfll 1 at •^. Ml Providers of Total Responsibility for Engineering and Construction of Industrial Electrical Projects... LINE ERECTORS, INC. KENT BOEKER, President - BILL M. EDWARD5, Vice President HWY 332 FREEPORT 233-5852

What members have found on this page

Get access to

  • The largest online newspaper archive
  • 11,100+ newspapers from the 1700s–2000s
  • Millions of additional pages added every month

Try it free