Special to the PRESS
Last Thursday, Sept. 23, several members of the local Port Isabel Rotary Club gathered to complete an important local community project they began several months ago. Using matching Rotary grant monies and club funds raised locally, they purchased 10 new benches, placing them throughout Port Isabel and Laguna Heights.
Thursday, the Club members completed the project by traveling throughout the community and affixing metal placards to the ends of the benches, identifying that the benches were donated by the Rotary Club of Port Isabel.
The purpose of this Rotary Bench project is to provide attractive, safe and durable benches throughout our community in our more highly populated neighborhoods. These are areas where we have a large amount of people making use of the Island Metro, formally known as “The Wave,” to get to and from work, home, child care, etc. The bus stop structures and benches are few and far between, leaving the citizens often standing for long periods of time – many of them elderly or with young children. In other cases, existing bus stop benches needed replacement due to weather and wear and tear.
This project is critical to the wellbeing of our citizens, many of whom struggle on a daily basis to survive, holding down two and three jobs per adult in the household. These benches will make their daily commute life more comfortable and less stressful. The need is so great and the issue so important that the cities themselves have also recognized the need to build additional Transit Bus Stop structures and benches to go with them. Although we are not partnering financially, we are working together with the City of Port Isabel and the City of South Padre Island Transportation Divisions to assist with this project. They have a larger project which encompasses the entire community’s needs for the Island Metro stop structures and benches throughout the tri-city areas of SPI, Port Isabel and Laguna Heights. Our bench grant project will allow us to help in the large overall project by assisting with benches in some of the more rural and unincorporated portions of the community where they are so greatly needed.
The Port Isabel Rotary Club procured the same benches as the Cities, from the same manufacturer, Duo-Gard, and as such all of the Island Metro stop benches will match, making it easy for the public and citizens to identify a bus stop bench. The benches are made of a durable recycled plastic resin type material, designed to last for many, many years to come.
The City of South Padre Island Transportation office and the Director, Jesse Arriaga, helped to identify the 10 locations throughout the community for the benches, within the Island Metro bus stop network. The City of Port Isabel Public Works division and their Director, Victor Valdez, lead the installation of the benches onto ADA compliant concrete pads.
“The Rotary Club of Port Isabel wishes to thank both organizations from the bottom of our hearts with their dedication, hard work and support in this most important project,” said Rotary Club Past President Don Lackey.
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