2017-04-19 / Front Page

Port Mansfield to crack down on illegal parking

BY TONY VINDELL
Reporter


SCENES LIKE THESE could be a thing of the past in Port Mansfield. 
(Photo by TonyVindell) SCENES LIKE THESE could be a thing of the past in Port Mansfield. (Photo by TonyVindell) First there wasn’t a fulltime police officer, but now there is a two-person department.

Then it was the issue with driving golf carts without all the necessary equipment.

And the latest is visitors will not be allowed to park in the streets either to view the abundant wildlife or to feed the deer.

David Mays, Port Mansfield’s first police chief, said he would like to install a signage system warning motorists not to park in the street to hand feed deer and to watch wildlife.

“This is not about generating (traffic) tickets, but about safety and keeping people away from private properties,” he told the P.M Navigation District board during last week’s meeting. “Some places are worse than others.”

Commissioner Mark Brown said the port is a popular tourist attraction for visitors, particularly because of the deer.

White-tailed deer abound there and attempts to reduce the local deer herd, estimated at several hundreds, have not been successful.

A petition drive to convince residents to stop feeding deer in their backyards did not go anywhere.

Some residents said they have no problems with that while others believe something has got to be done.

Even the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department has not addressed the deer situation.

But be as it may, Mays said parking on city streets needs to be regulated.

When asked by board members what kind of signage he was talking about, Mays said about a dozen street signs would probably do it.

Jerry L. Stapleton, the navigation district attorney, said in order to do that they need to draw and pass an ordinance.

Ron Mills, the port’s director, said there is one in place.

However, that hasn’t been determined and Mays said they will work on the street signs.

In other business, the board discussed an idea to set up an emergency ambulance system, fashioned after Willacy County Emergency Medical Services.

Tommy Rains, Jr., the board’s chair, said they need to evaluate a lot of things before deciding on what to do.

He said the port is the farthest place in the county from Raymondville and from nearby hospitals in Harlingen.

“Do we want to go ahead with this?” Rains said. “Are we going to provide the same services EMS provides? I don’t think so.”

Nevertheless, he believes PM should have something set up as there is the possibility WCEMS could be tied up responding to calls countywide.

Brown and Commissioner Kay Hicks said they would like to see a budget prepared and submitted so they have an idea of the cost involved to set up the services.

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