MISSION—City of Mission Mayor Norbeto “Beto” Salinas said the community should expect many changes in 2014. Multiple projects have been approved and others are still in the works, but all will benefit the citizens of Mission.
A project that will be executed within the first 45 days of 2014 is an expansion at the city’s sewer plant. An addition of 4.5 million gallons per month will be added to the usage this year.
With added water comes more usage for new homes and new residents, and the Mission mayor is excited to keep the city growing.
“We want to provide more housing for the people that we have,” Salinas said. “So far, in the last few years, we have built 225 new homes and repaired 75 homes. (City Manager) Martin (Garza) is working on some other houses that are abandoned or need some rehab.”
City Manager Martin Garza is working closing with citizens by taking applications and discussing the needs of citizens reaching out for assistance. Salinas added the money funding these home projects around the city are taken from the Community Development Block Grant, which are federal funds.
A convention center for Mission is in the early stages of planning. Salinas said in the next three years he hopes to fund the project without using taxpayer money. The mayor added he had to be convinced, but believes now the project will bring in revenue to the city.
“It will be very good for us, it will cater to our visitors from Mexico and the western part of Hidalgo County,” Salinas said. “It is going to be a nice place, but the process is going to work slowly. If we want this, we are going to take our time and do it right.”
Other items on the mayor’s agenda include a raise for civil service employees, privatizing and creating a sanitation department, and beginning projects in the southern side of Mission. With truck traffic building from the Anzalduas International Bridge in 2015, Salinas plans to add businesses with warehouses in Mission’s Industrial Park.
“We have multiple projects that we want to do and are going to do,” Salinas said. “Our main goal is to provide support to citizens who need our service. We want to help them.”
Conway Avenue Streetscape Project
Conway Avenue will see improvements in part with the Conway Streetscape project. Garza said the Mission City Council would select the lowest bidder later this month to kick off the project.
Conway Avenue will see new lighting, pavers, trees, benches and added stops for bus transportation in the downtown area.
Salinas said business owners would be eligible for grant funds of up to $3,000 in part with the streetscape project through the Mission Economic Development Corporation. According to the MEDC, a matching grant is also available for a dollar-to-dollar match in grant funding of up to $10,000.
The mayor said some expansion projects have already been approved and are ready to move forward.
The Inspiration Road project, Salinas said, is one of the biggest projects for the city, creating a straight roadway. He added the project would include a wider expressway, and construction work done under the overpass.
Project costs an estimated $55 million, and the widened road would begin at Expressway 83/Interstate 2 and travel north to 3 Mile Line.
Currently, the city also is acquiring right-of-way to continue the widening of 2 Mile Line from Conway Avenue to Moorefield Road. Hidalgo County will handle the expansion of 2 Mile Line up to La Homa Road. Salinas said the project is with TxDOT and totals to $14 million.
The City of Mission also is working with the City of McAllen to work on Taylor Road; Salinas said the project would create a better flow of traffic at less than $14 million.
“It will move traffic north on Taylor Road to 3 Mile Line,” Salinas said. “On 3 Mile Line, from 23rd Street down to Tom Gill Road, it would put a lot of people on 3 Mile Line going east and west. Now we are getting more traffic on Taylor Road.”
The City of Mission has reduced taxes over the last 16 years, and Salinas said he hopes to keep the theme alive by reducing taxes one or two pennies more.
“All of the improvements we have made across the city are at no cost to the taxpayers, we also gave them a tax reduction of 10 cents in the last 10 years,” Salinas said.
Salinas said his goal for the future is not to have taxes rise and lower the rate from 52 cents to 49 cents.