Hello. Good morning. It is good to be back over here.
So, the City of McAllen, it’s very exciting. These are very exciting times for us right now. We’ve got a lot of work going on. We were just talking this morning, that we’ve got over 100 projects that for some insane reason we approved for this year’s budget. We are very excited about what it is going to do for our community.
We are reviving the reservoir project. It seems like every time we finish something we think of something else and so we are excited about, at least planning on what to do with that site. As you all know, many of you anyway, the discussion about developing the reservoir has been going on for longer than I have been here. And so we are hoping that this time might make the difference.
Another big project that is coming up here in the next 30 or 60 days is the expansion of Quinta Mazatlan. The City Commission approved going out to bid on that project. However, because we actually received additional money at the end of the year from EDA we had to jump a few more hoops before we bid it. So, we are hoping that in the next 30 to 60 days we will be doing the Quinta Mazatlan expansion. I really want to thank our partners for their great financial help. That includes UTRGV, MISD, and of course the State of Texas through Parks and Wildlife. And so that is going to be an amazing expansion to our city and we are looking forward to that.
I will let Juan talk about where we are with the cargo port.
As you also know, we opened Bicentennial to 107. Again, that is a decade-old project that we have been doing, a piece at a time. We have finally got to 107. We are very excited. We are going to have to do some adjustments at the intersection at 107 but it is a great improvement for north-south traffic.
We’ve got a lot of drainage projects still to do. The City Commission has that as their No. 1 priority and so we will be tearing up your street here soon if we haven’t already to improve drainage. We’ve probably got 20 of those projects going on right now.
We are also going to expand our trail system. Quality of life, for the City Commission is second only to public safety and we have got dozens of projects, literally, still to do. We are going to expand our trails. We are going to partner with our irrigation districts to add trails and then beautify the ones we have got.
Speaking of quality of life, you have probably seen how much we have done in our parks. We are expanding parks, we are building new parks, we are building inclusive parks, which is something that really we wish we would have started sooner but that has become something that is a real necessity for communities with special needs families. The open one is at Sanchez Elementary and we are going to probably bid the next one, maybe in the next 30 to 60 days that will go at Los Encinos Park in south McAllen. So, we are very excited about that for our community.
As far as public safety, we will be designing… we just awarded a contract to design a new fire station in north McAllen. As you know, we are growing to the north and so our commitment has been that we are going to leapfrog all the way to Monte Cristo, build a fire station up there and then come back to 107 and build the next one. So, we are going to build Station 8 here soon and we will be designing it for the next six months.
And in addition to that we are going to design and build a training facility for the fire department. We don’t have one. We have a little site off 107 that we use but it really does not have any amenities or facilities and so we are going to commit some $4 million to build a new one. It is very necessary for our fire department. We’ve got our own academy for both fire and police so that is going help them.
And, the last project that I will mention is that we are planning to do a tennis facility. That is new. I don’t know if you have heard that but it is part of our budget. We are probably going to be discussing that on Monday with our City Commission. We don’t know where yet but there is certainly a demand and a desire by some in our community to look at that. So, we are going to commit some money to do that.
So, we have got a lot of things going on. Very excited. We appreciate all the work we do with our partners, many of the people around this table. And we look forward to a great year.
Editor’s Note: The above report was given by Roel ‘Roy’ Rodriguez, city manager for the City of McAllen, at a McAllen Economic Development Corporation board meeting on Jan. 20, 2022.
Editor’s Note: The “Juan” referred to in the report is Juan Olaguibel, superintendent of bridges for the City of McAllen; “EDA” is Economic Development Administration; “UTRGV” is University of Texas-Rio Grande Valley; “MISD” is McAllen Independent School District.
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