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Hello, I am Joel Villarreal, mayor of the great city of Rio Grande City. 

Join us as we take a look around Rio Grande City to see current and future development projects and the ever evolving landscape of our beautiful city. 

Nuestra Lindo Rio Grande City is a historic community with modern appeal that embraces a high quality of life and where people come to live and to work and to enjoy the American Dream. 

The U.S. Census estimates that our current population is 15,376, and each day that number is expected to keep growing. The cost of living is very low; 24 percent lower than the national average. Although we are weathering the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic our business community is thriving and new businesses are opening every day.

Joel Villarreal, mayor of Rio Grande City, Texas.

We are investing millions of dollars in infrastructure to sustain our growing community. We’ve allocated water system improvements throughout the city. This will be used to rehabilitate the city’s old water plant, replace water and wastewater lines and install utilities long Rattle Drive, the newly constructed public street at Rio Grande Village Shopping Center. 

Rio Grande City Public Utilities will start on the expansion of the water treatment plant. This expansion will ensure water treatment needs are met for the city’s projected growth for the next ten to 15 years. Proposed drainage and paving improvements are planned for the city that will benefit the community by alleviating traffic, enhancing drainage quality, and executing repaving maintenance. 

We have been recognized in the Top Ten of safest cities to live in Texas and our law enforcement community continues to work together for our safety and security. 

We are investing in a $6 million combined public safety building that will house the Rio Grande City police and fire departments. This development will accommodate future expansion of personnel, increase storage for equipment upgrades and house several new fire trucks and patrol units. 

Our educational opportunities continue to grow. We have two higher education campuses in Rio Grande City. South Texas College offers more than 119 degree and certificate program options and has one of the largest dual enrollment programs in the state of Texas. The UTRGV Rio Grande City campus provides access to 120 undergraduate and graduate programs in 2017 and in 2017 ranked No. 1 in Top Ten accelerated online masters in education.

Our very own public library has been recognized by the Texas Municipal Library Directors Association with the Texas Achievement in Library Excellence Award three years in a row. This award is given to libraries that demonstrate excellence in categories including services, to programming for adults and families, literary support for all ages, workforce development, among others. 

The city, with support from the Rio Grande City EDC, has completed critical drainage improvements necessary to advance the development of Rio Grande Village, a commercial center expected to bring in approximately 500 to 700 new jobs and infuse millions of tax dollars into the city. 

As the city gets ready to commemorate the first of several new businesses to open at Rio Grande Village, city leaders are working with the Rio Grande City EDC to install a ten acre business park nearby to attract additional business and industry that meet the needs and demands of the growing city. 

Our Rio Grande City Main Street Program is nationally recognized as an accredited Main Street America program and has impacted out community in a remarkable way. They bring our people, our economy, and our environment together, building from our history to improve our future. We are extremely proud of the hardworking out Main Street and volunteers do everyday. Rio Grande City has experienced steady and positive growth in commercial and residential development over the last decade. 

Editor’s Note: The above commentary was provided by Rio Grande City Mayor Joel Villarreal in a promotional video produced by Rio Grande City Economic Development Council. It appears in The Rio Grande Guardian with the permission of Mayor Villarreal and Rio Grande City EDC.

Editor’s Note: The above guest column is the second in a three-part series on Rio Grande City and a virtual tour of the city hosted by the Rio Grande Valley Partnership. Click here to read Part One, and here to read Part Three.


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