The City of Palmview became one of two Texas cities to receive a grant of up to $50,000 from T-Mobile through their Hometown Grant program. With the new funds, Palmview leaders decided to create a new youth center and the first community library.
“Those are the needs in the community,” Chief of Staff and Public Relations Officer Irma Garza said. “The community is interested in having this here, closer to them so this is the direction that the city council decided to go in. And we’re very excited to be able to provide these services to the community.”
Garza said the residents have been asking for the new attractions for years through public comments and phone calls. So when city staff had the opportunity to apply for the T-Mobile grant, they took it.
In April 2021, T-Mobile launched its Hometown Grant program designed to help small towns and rural communities develop projects with technology, education, environment and health care. T-Mobile has given more than $5.5 million to projects across 37 states. For this quarter, Palmview was one of 25 new grant recipients, and the City received the entire $50,000 allotted per city.
All $50,000 will go toward the youth club and library. The club will include gaming tables, a technology center and computer lab with Wi-Fi and an arts and crafts room. The idea is for the center to be a hangout spot for young people who want to get out of the house or need a place to do their homework.
“This is a safe place for kids to come and have fun and interact with other youth their age,” the PR officer said. “Everybody wants to hang out somewhere where they feel safe and this is going to be an opportunity for them to be able to do that.”
Palmview debuts the new youth center Oct. 8 but will not accept guests for another couple of weeks; the exact date is tentative. It is located right behind city hall at 603 Palmview Commercial Drive. As for the library, Garza said city leaders hope to have it open by the end of the year. The library will be in the building adjacent to the youth club.
The PR officer said city leaders have not decided if there will be a fee to utilize the youth center services, but if they did require payment, it would be nominal. The City has also not determined hours of operation, but they will have everything sorted out when the facilities are open to the community.
In a written statement from Palmview Mayor Ricardo Villarreal, he expressed how proud he and the other city leaders are to be able to bring the new services to the residents.
“This grant will allow us to create the first-ever community library in our city, enhance access to technology and internet services for our residents and provide our youth with academic resources and technology opportunities by establishing the first youth club catered to meet their needs,” the mayor said. “…we look forward to the transformational opportunities this grant will provide for our community.”