FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 03/18/2009
Rep. Wayne Smith, Rep. Ken Legler announce LBB approval of bonds to dry berth the Battleship TEXAS
LEGISLATIVE BUDGET BOARD RELEASES $25 MILLION IN BONDS TO PERMANENTLY DRY BERTH THE BATTLESHIP TEXAS AT ITS CURRENT LOCATION
AUSTIN - Representative Wayne Smith (Baytown) and Representative Ken Legler (Pasadena) announce that the Legislative Budget Board has sent a letter to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department releasing the $25 million in bonds to permanently dry berth the Battleship TEXAS at its current location.
In 1948, the legislature permanently anchored the Battleship TEXAS near Buffalo Bayou and the busy Houston Ship Channel at the San Jacinto Battleground State Historic Site. This historic site is home to the TEXAS and also consists of the Battleground, Monument and Museum.
In November 2007, Voters approved up to $25 million in bonds to permanently dry berth the battleship at her current location. A contingency of the issuance of these funds includes $4 million in local private donations. "It has taken years to get to this point and I am encouraged to see the recent progress on this project." said Rep. Smith. "Preserving Texas' history is a vitally important part of our citizen's continued education."
"While the permanent dry berthing of Battleship TEXAS appears to be expensive initially," said Smith, "it will significantly reduce the ongoing maintenance costs to the tax payers of the state and ensures we can enjoy this national treasure for generations to come.”
"Along with Representatives Smith and Legler I am pleased to recognize this step forward; few things represent our state's long and unwavering contribution to our nation's armed services more than the Battleship TEXAS," said Lt. Governor Dewhurst. "As a veteran, I'm proud to support preserving this historical treasure as a symbol of our state's military history and to inspire future generations to serve our state and nation."
"Dry berthing of the Battleship TEXAS is imperative so it will not face the same unfortunate fate as other historical ships throughout the country." said Rep. Legler. "Dry berthing will take the ship out of the corrosive salt water permanently, allowing for less preservation dollars that would be required to be spent in the future. In addition, the restoration of the Battleship TEXAS will allow visitors the opportunity to fully explore the historical ship."
"I join Representatives Smith and Legler in acknowledging this important step in protecting one of our state's treasured World War I and II icons, the Battleship TEXAS." said Texas House Speaker Joe Straus (San Antonio)
To learn more or make a donation, visit www.BattleshipTEXAS.org and click on the volunteer link, or call (713) 827-9620.
Representative Wayne Smith represents Baytown, Deer Park, La Porte, Morgan's Point and a portion of Pasadena. Rep. Smith is on the County Affairs Committee and also serves on the Transportation Committee. You may call his office toll free at (866)-423-5987.
Contact: Colin Parrish