The Texas Historical Commission is commenting on a letter written by Judge Loyd Neal seeking approval to tear down the old Nueces County Courthouse.
Under an old grant agreement with the commission, the county cannot demolish the old courthouse until 2027. That is why Judge Neal is asking the commission to let the county out of that agreement.
A spokesman with the commission said this case is the first of its kind.
“We’ve never removed an easement from a property that’s received a grant that we administer,” Chris Florance said.
Florance is describing two emergency preservation grants the county received in the early 2000’s. The non-demolition clause was a condition of those grants.
Florance said the Texas Historical Commission meets quarterly and expects discussion about the courthouse to begin soon.
“There’s meetings in October, January, April and July. I would think that it would be on the agenda shortly,” Florance said.
From there, the commission will decide on the county’s request. Judge Neal said there are plans in place if the request is denied.
“If they said no, Senator Hinojosa, Todd Hunter, and Abel have assured me and the others that they are willing to sponsor legislation in the next session to have that covenant removed,” Judge Neal said.
The Texas Historical Commission spokesman did not give a timeline on when a final decision would be made.