Pharr to make pledged UTRGV medical school payment

Pharr is scheduled to pay the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley its agreed-upon annual payment of $500,000 on Tuesday, City Manager Juan Guerra confirmed. This leaves McAllen and Mission as the only cities that have not yet paid.

Edinburg and Hidalgo County have come through with their pledged $1 million payments while McAllen has $1 million budgeted for the medical school this fiscal year, which ends at the end of September. City Manager Roel “Roy” Rodriguez has confirmed that money is still budgeted, but he has not yet been directed by the city commission to put that payment on the agenda.

UTRGV has a memorandum of understanding with McAllen, Edinburg, Mission, Pharr and Hidalgo County. The line in the MOU between McAllen and UTRGV states, “On or about Oct. 15, each year from 2014 to 2023, the city shall pay/transfer/provide to The University of Texas System up to $2,000,000.” That money is for the medical school. Edinburg agreed to exactly $1 million, Mission pledged exactly $250,000 and Pharr committed to exactly $500,000.

McAllen has made one payment of $2 million, in fall 2014. The item was on three consecutive commission meeting agendas in November and December but it was tabled each time. Mayor Jim Darling said Thursday there is not an item on Monday’s regularly scheduled commission meeting agenda regarding a UTRGV medical school payment.

Before the Texas Legislature adjourned last month, it agreed to fund the medical school with $54.1 million for the next two years, which is $7.2 million short of what lawmakers approved in 2015. Overall, the entire university received $313.1 million, down 4 percent from $326.3 million given the last biennium. mferman@themonitor.com