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DONNA, RGV – A new drive thru will be located on the east side of Donna City Hall, Donna Finance Director David Vasquez has announced.

The drive thru will allow residents to conveniently pay utility bills without having to enter City Hall.

The new drive thru is part of a facelift for City Hall with a new foyer and façade also being added. Other renovations to the interior of City Hall are planned. The improvement costs will total $108,579.

Other improvements to City Hall, Vasquez said, include repaving the parking lot. The first phase of repaving has already started, with new landscaped islands, flag poles and signage.

“The proposed improvements to City Hall were a long time coming. City Hall was originally part of the cannery and no major renovations had been undertaken,” Vasquez said. “The renovations will allow us to provide better service to our citizens. It will now be a one stop shop, instead of our citizens having to go to different buildings to take care of business.”

Railroad Crossings

The City of Donna has also improved the railroad crossings throughout downtown, Planning Director, Robert Escobar announced.

Railroad crossings that have been completed this year are located on 6th Street, 11th Street, and Whalen Road. The total project cost for these crossings is approximately $53,634. Two crossings located on 10th and 12th Street, have been eliminated.

The railroad crossing improvements are a joint project between the City of Donna, TxDOT, and Rio Valley Switching Company.

“The upgrades to the railroad crossings were long overdue. Residents had been voicing their complaints for years mentioning that the crossings were very rough,” Escobar said.

“City Manager Ernesto Silva prioritized upgrading the crossings last year. After several meetings with TxDOT and Rio Grande Valley Switching, the upgrades and closures were negotiated. The improvements have been welcomed with positive comments from our citizens thus far.”

Street & Drainage Improvements

The most notable improvements for Donna residents are streets and drainage. Public Works Director, Daniel Ramirez the City of Donna “has been diligently working” on improving streets and drainage throughout the entire community.

Streets that are currently under construction are South 3rd, North 17th, Mile 10 North, and Peacock & S. Hutto Rd, Ramirez reported. The total project cost for paving of these streets is approximately $1.3 million. The improvements are being funded through bond proceeds.

Ramirez said TxDOT is also doing its part by reconstructing D. Salinas International Boulevard (FM 493), from Champion Street to Military Highway. The road is being widened to allow for an additional north and south bound lane. TxDOT is funding the project in the amount of $13.6 million with the City spending $530,206.37 on the relocation of utilities.

“Addressing the public’s concerns regarding the condition of our streets has been a priority for the City Council. We have a list of streets we are prioritizing for this coming fiscal year, with even more every year thereafter,” Ramirez said.