RIO GRANDE CITY –  The U.S. Department of Agriculture is to fully reopen its Starr County office, says the agency’s area district for rural development.

Roel Ruben Gomez made the announcement at a recent town hall meeting hosted by U.S. Rep. Henry Cuellar on South Texas College’s Starr County campus. Gomez spoke about all the programs the agency has to help rural communities.

Gomez pointed out that USDA had a staff member working full-time out of Rio Grande City up until 2007. However, from that point on the hours of operation were reduced to one day per week. 

Gomez said his colleague in USDA’s Edinburg office, Roberto Rodriguez, will be running the Starr County office, which is located inside Rio Bank in Rio Grande City. Both Gomez and Rodriguez are natives of Starr County.

Rodriguez pointed out Starr County qualifies for most of the USDA programs. He said the agency has programs to help the elderly and colonia residents. Right now, Rodriguez said, USDA is offering home improvement grants of up to $10,000 for residents aged 62 and over. 

A couple of local elected officials were in the audience for the USDA announcement. Congressman Cuellar praised USDA. He urged local officials to ensure local residents get to the agency’s Starr County office, once COVID restrictions have been lifted. 

Gomez said USDA is offering to help with the Starr County courthouse project.

Editor’s Note: The main image accompanying the above news story shows Roberto Rodriguez, U.S. Rep. Henry Cuellar, and Roel Ruben Gomez.

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