PHARR, TEXAS – Dennis A. McKenzie, deputy executive director, cargo and conveyance security for US Custom and Border Protection, was the keynote speaker at the recent Pharr Bridge Board Industrial Warehouse Summit 2.
The title of the event was IWS2. The subheading: “Building a Competitive Border Region for Near-Shoring and Industrial Growth.” It took place at the Pharr Development & Research Center in W. Dicker Road in south Pharr.
On his visit to the Rio Grande Valley, McKenzie saw a number of ports of entry. He praised the Pharr Bridge Board and the local stakeholders the board works with.
“I want to compliment you guys because I go everywhere in the country. I have done cargo since 1989. Northern border, southern border, seaports, airports, rail crossings. You are the only ones coming together as a community to get the work done,” McKenzie said.
“I saw multiple cities here, I saw state (officials). I’ve seen your senator’s staffers here. I saw this in Laredo, which impressed me. Then I went to El Paso and I saw it once again. Now I come to the RGV and I see it once again. Public-private partnerships coming together to get budgets like this done.”
McKenzie said he could not believe the federal government has not moved quicker on the donations acceptance programs the Pharr Bridge Board has embarked on. The Donations Acceptance Program is a mechanism that allows local communities to work with the federal government to get key infrastructure projects done. Pharr is still working on DAP 15 and DAP 16. The numbers refer to the year the application for the partnership was made. So, Pharr is still working on projects at their international bridge that were registered with the General Services Administration in 2015 and 2016.
Here is an audio recording of McKenzie’s 40-plus minute speech at IWS2.
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