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The Historical Story
of Bee County Texas By Camp Ezell
Federal funds for building programs in Bee County have been used constructively, and as a result the standard of living has been raised, particularly with reference to indigent people and those who have low incomes.
The expansion program, involving the erection of a number of substantial buildings during the past decade, has led many people to feel that Chase Field is a permanent institution.
In addition to the housing facilities that have been financed by Federal grants, private enterprise has kept construction work going at a rapid speed to keep up with the growth in the population of Beeville and the various communities. Many large and modern apartment houses have been erected, and a suburban business mall, to be known as College North Shopping Center, is being constructed on the L. W. Bell property on North Washington Street by the D.W.H. Development Co. at a cost of around $ 1,500,000. There will be seventeen units in the complex, which is scheduled to be completed September 1, 1973.
Following is a report from the various agencies that have received Federal funds for construction work in Bee County. (This does not include funds for public school buildings.)
COMMUNITY COUNCIL REPORT
Jessy Garza, administrator for the Office of Economic Opportunity, under the auspices of the Community Council of Bee County, has issued the following report on the six‑year program (1967‑1973) carried out here:
NEIGHBORHOOD DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM
Walter B. Staudt is Executive Director of the Neighborhood Development Program, which is In the process of completing a huge drainage project for the western part of Beeville during the latter part of May this year (1973). Forty-two city blocks of property are being drained with storm sewers during heavy rains under this project, and the streets will be paved after the sewer pipes have been laid.
The NDP also has started building and repairing houses in a plan to eliminate shacks from the area. One new residence has been completed and six others have been started at the time of this writing.
This is a Federal Agency, and the total expenditure on the drainage, paving, and housing program for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1973, is $1.250,000.
BEEVILLE HOUSING AUTHORITY
The Beeville Housing Authority started building housing units in 1956, to be rented to people of low incomes. John English Thames is the Executive Director. The late Eric J. Spielhagen was the first chairman of the local building projects, and since his death Edward N. Jones has served as chairman. Mrs. Joyce Kubala is secretary.
Two projects have been completed and the third is under construction and is scheduled to be finished by October 1974. All of this work is federally funded.
Project 1: Ninety units for family occupancy; started in 1956 and completed in 196 1 ; for low‑income families. Total cost, $875,000.
Project 2: Thirty units for elderly people and twenty units for families, for a total of fifty units. Started in 1963 and completed in 1966. Total cost, $660,000.
Project 3: Thirty‑eight units for the elderly in Hotel Kohler and twenty-two family units on Dolan Street~ under construction, to be finished in October 1974. Total cost, $1,000,000.
Total expenditures on the three projects: $2,535,100.
CITY OF BEEVILLE'S PROJECTS (web page)
With a Federal grant of $105,000, augmented by city funds to make a total of $146,427, the City of Beeville purchased 191 acres of land facing Viggo Road on the north side and Peosta Creek on the east, and this is being developed into a city park. Purchases were from the following:
Martin Linke, 40 acres; Linke Estate, 20.38; Beatrice Gonzales, 32.14; Pennzoil United Inc., 77.46 (of this amount, 17 acres were donated); and Raymond Eissler. 21.02. The Chamber of Commerce helped negotiate the deals. There will be camping facilities, picnic areas, barbecue pits, bicycle and hiking trails, and eventually a golf course. Land has been cleared for a Little League baseball field. Restrooms will be installed.
A 10‑acre park between Alta Vista Boulevard and Minnesota Street extension (out of the city limits) has been created by the City of Beeville and is being used by the young people. A wading pool for small children is planned. as well as baseball diamonds for boys and girls. Total cost of this project is $10,000.
The H. E. Butt Foundation donated $10,000, the city put up $69,600, and the Federal Government provided $90,000, making a total expenditure of $148,600, for a swimming pool with dressing rooms, on the Fair Grounds property. It was opened in May, 1973.
The city now has a total of 260.8 acres devoted to parks. 'including in addition to those heretofore mentioned, Klipstein, Poesta, Flournoy, Moore, Alta Vista, Kohler, and Fair Grounds.
CHASE FIELD IMPROVEMENTS PROGRAM
By far the greatest amount of Federal funds coming info Bee County during the last decade was for the purpose of expanding the buildings and facilities at N. A. S. Chase Field, five miles east of Beeville.
The expenditures for this program (which includes new buildings and the landing field at Berclair, part of which is in Bee County) total $26,213,195.
Bee County College has received a total of $3,437,000 in Federal grants for capital expenditures for buildings and equipment, Dr. Grady Hogue, president of the college, stated. Broken down, the allotments were as follows: Technical Vocational Building, $500,000; for all buildings except the gymnasium, $500,000; revenue bonds purchased by the Government, $990,000; Shop Building, $50,000; Dental Hygiene Building, $100,000; original equipment, $250,000; a grant to be paid at the rate of $20,000 per year for forty years, $832,000; Vocational Shop Building (under construction), $215,000. Total, $3,437,000.
The Beeville Independent School District received Federal aid through the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965. A ten‑title program was offered but most of the assistance was used in Title 1, not only in Beeville but throughout the nation. The school district also received Federal aid from Public Law 874 Impact Aid because of the many children of military personnel at Chase Field who attended the Beeville schools. A number of other Federal grants were channeled through the Texas Education Agency, and this makes if difficult to obtain an accurate breakdown of figures at the time this book goes to press.
SUMMARY OF GOVERNMENT FUNDS
Following is a tabulated summary of Government funds that have helped Bee County grow into one of the soundest and most progressive areas of South Texas:
The Historical Story
of Bee County Texas By Camp Ezell
Updated Thursday, December 21, 2006 21:02
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