EDA awards $3M to Mission

More than $3 million will be invested into the Shary Village Industrial Park in the hopes of creating hundreds of jobs and nearly $58 million in investments.

During a virtual press conference held Friday, Sept. 18, U.S. Congressman Henry Cuellar (TX-28) announced $3 million have been awarded to the Mission Economic Development Corporation through the U.S. Economic Development Administration.

The federal funds will be used to develop and enhance the Shary Village Industrial Park by installing electricity, water and roadways to attract future investors into the area located on Mission’s south side.

These federal funds, Cuellar said, will change the city.

“This money can be used to implement water and sewage improvements at Shary Village Industrial Park,” Cuellar said. “It will have an impact in Mission, we’re hoping to create 300 jobs and leverage $57.3M in investments.”

The money was made possible through a grant program at the U.S. EDA which provides reliefs to communities following natural disasters such as the one that impacted the city of Mission, and the rest of Hidalgo County during the June 2018 storm, EDA Director Jorge Ayala said.

“The reason for all this unprecedented investment unfortunately is because of the unprecedented disasters we’ve been dealing with in the region,” Ayala said, adding that the EDA has awarded the state of Texas $184 million over the last three years. “I’m not hoping for any more disasters but it’s good that EDA is ready to respond and help communities recover from these events.”

To qualify for the money, a state of disaster must be issued by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, which FEMA declared throughout the entire county following a June 2018 storm that flooded much of the reason, Ayala said.

“Mission faced some economic loss due to a severe rain and flooding and the EDA plays a major role in economic recovery,” Ayala said. “We’re in the business of helping communities create better environments for the future to recover quickly or be more resilient to these disasters in the future.”

The area the industrial park is in used to be farmland and is prone to flooding, Mission EDC CEO Daniel Silva said.

“This will help alleviate a lot of drainage and flooding issues we get in that area,” Silva said. “This park requires a lot of infrastructure to get it to point where we can get it to the position to provide job creation. It’s exciting to see these opportunities.”

According to Mission Mayor Armando O’caña, the city is putting in an additional $750,000 into the project.

“Any mayor that puts in $750,000 into a project and gets $3.7 million back is extremely happy,” O’caña said. “I can tell you once we finish this project, it will be the catalyst for the industrial part we are working on the south side of Mission.”

Companies have already begun inquiring to invest in the area, the mayor added. One of the companies who have already invested in the property is the Laredo-based company Killam Development which acquired 3,400 acres in the area last December to develop the area into residential and commercial properties.

The project is being fast-tracked to begin construction by January of next year, a representative with Killam Development said at the press conference.

“Mission is becoming alive, it is progressing,” O’caña said.

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