EDINBURG, Texas – Residents in the north Edinburg subdivision of Lull could not attend mass at Capilla de San Jose for about four months because a construction crew left debris at the entrance to their church.
Now, they are saying thank you to city officials for bringing in another construction firm to clean up the mess, as well as install new drainage, paved streets, sidewalks and even individual mailboxes.
At a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the $4 million project, local resident Cristina De La Garza gave a shoutout to Joey Borjas, who worked the backhoe for Artillery Construction.
“I remember driving in from my night shift and he (Borjas) was working right here in front of the church. I stopped and I said who are you? He introduced himself and said, ‘they told me that I needed to start the project here’,” De La Garza said.
“Well, you see, for a long time, we weren’t able to come to mass because the other construction crew had left the mess right here at the entrance. So Mr. Borjas was kind enough to work on that project and finish our entrance and everything. So we were able to have mass that following Sunday. So Joey, from the bottom of my heart, thank you so much. That meant a lot to all of us.”
De La Garza also thanked Patricia Longoria, who works in the City of Edinburg’s engineering department. De La Garza said she would call or email Longoria to pass on the complaints of neighbors who were upset about all the dust entering their homes. The dust was entering the homes because the roads had been dug up but repaved.
“She (Longoria) was always like, ‘no, it’s okay, don’t worry about it, let me see what I can do.’ It didn’t matter if I called her in 15 times in one day. She was always helpful,” De La Garza said.
Edinburg’s city engineer is Mardoqueo Hinojosa. De La Garza thanked him also.
“Mr. Hinojosa, I know we gave you a headache sometimes when we went we just showed up at your office. But thank you for taking the time to see us.”
De La Garza told the Rio Grande Guardian International News Service that the families who had lived in Lull for many years were more accepting of the inconvenience. She, herself, was born and raised in Lull and remembers when it was nothing but dirt roads. However, some of the newer residents would complain, a lot.
“I want to thank all the residents because it was a headache. I would hear all the complaints, ‘all the dirt is coming into my house… my air filter needs to be changed once a week.’ I got it. Mine were too,” De La Garza said.
“But the residents were very patient. We really needed the change and it is amazing to see people actually using the sidewalks to walk. The kids are playing (outside). I walk every day in the evening. It is really good.”
De La Garza thanked both the previous administration and the current one for improving the quality of life of local residents.
Lull, otherwise known as La Hierlera, used to be outside the city limits. But even after being incorporated into the City of Edinburg its residents felt neglected for many years. Finally, things have changed and, according to Mayor Pro Tem Daniel ‘Dan’ Diaz, Lull may now have “the best drainage and the best streets in Edinburg.”
Edinburg City Council member Johnny Garcia said the residents of Lull deserve all the improvements that have been made because they had been ignored for the longest time.
“I want to thank all the residents of La Hierlera. I know that for many years… you had a lot of headaches… a lot of discomfort. But you all continued to be major advocates for your own neighborhood,” Garcia said.
Garcia said that when he took office he made a point of talking to the main players and families of Lull. “They were like, when is it going to happen, when are you going to do something for us?”
Garcia said the initial plan was for the City to invest $250,000 in improvements in Lull but he and his colleagues ended up spending $4 million.
“This is a major upkeep, a major improvement. But it was not just the streets that were done. We had curbs, we had sidewalks, we had lights, even drainage. New mailboxes for every single household. You know, I think you all got the grand prize of winning the Lotto from the City of Edinburg. But, it is well deserved. You all have been abandoned for so many years.”
Mayor Ramiro Garza thanked the residents for “staying on top of this.” He said about four miles of streets have been paved.
“This work does not end here. These improvements have been provided but they have got to be maintained. And, you know what, as a City, we are going to do our part but we ask you to do your part as well. We have got to maintain it and keep it up to date.”
Cristina De La Garza
Here is an audio interview with Lull community leader Cristina De La Garza:
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