By HEATHER CATHLEEN COX
Special to the NEWS
December may just be the month that San Benito City Officials decide the fate of the San Benito Cultural Heritage Museum, said Rey Avila, founder of the Texas Conjunto Hall of fame and Museum, with regard to an upcoming meeting of the San Benito City Commission where the future of the museum is an action item on the agenda.
Officials had planned for the San Benito Cultural Heritage Museum to serve as the future home of the Freddy Fender Museum, the San Benito History Museum and the Texas Conjunto Music Hall of Fame and Museum. Contritely, after officials discovered language in a $1.2 million certificate of obligation from 2007 stating specific building specifications, progress of the museum came to a halt.
The aforementioned CO indicates the funds must be used at Plaza San Benito which is located on 220. E. Stenger St.— the current location of the Narciso Martinez Cultural Arts Center. Comparatively, officials intended for the museum to be built on property on Business 77 and the resaca, which has been designated for the Resaca Walk.
Rey Avila, President of the Texas Conjunto Music Hall of Fame and Museum, said, “Now there’s a debate as to (whether) it will be built on Stenger or on the Resaca. There is a hold up. Hopefully, at the first city meeting of December (officials) are going to make a decision. Maybe get another CO.”
Changing the verbiage of the CO would allow officials to erect the museum on Business 77.
Ron Rogers, President of the Freddy Fender Museum, said, “I’m very hopeful that any issues will be resolved and that we will go along with our original plans to build our museums. We’ve been working on projects since 2007, and I’m hopeful we’ll move ahead with the museums as planned.”
“We’ve gotta be working with our architect to work on another design,” said Rogers of the fact the original design, which resembled an accordion, was not approved by the commission.
Avila expanded, “That design was tabled six months ago, and so far we’ve never gotten word from the City. For some reason, it’s back to square one even though we all agreed on the accordion.”
Both Avila and Rogers stated that the accordion design isn’t completely off the table. “That design is still open for discussion,” said Rogers.