Suarez lauds accessibility, collaboration in state of the city address

WESLACO — Mayor David Suarez delivered his State of the City Address on Wednesday, touching on a number of high points from the past year and looking to continue the successful collaboration in the future.

“Weslaco is accessible and accountable, stable and solvent,” Suarez said.

With accessibility being a main theme of the nearly 20-minute speech, Suarez highlighted the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley’s establishment of the Center for Innovation and Commercialization here, collaboration with Weslaco Independent School District to expand free Wi-Fi to city parks and improvements to city infrastructure.

“The WISD board (of trustees) and administration recognized with us that fiber infrastructure is a competitive advantage when striving to expand the community of job opportunity for their students or emerging workforce,” Suarez said.

Suarez also spoke about work by first responders with the police and the fire departments that led to the expansion of the Mid Valley Regional Communications Center, added defibrillators to police units and the addition of a drone for the fire department.

“I am very proud that our firefighters and paramedics were the ambassadors of compassion and professionalism across the Gulf Coast in the wake of Hurricane Harvey and the spotlight article on them in the New York Times was much deserved,” Suarez said as a slideshow image of the story was shown behind him.

Weslaco’s Mass Casualty Evacuation Ambulance along with emergency medical technicians and firefighters were deployed to the Houston-area in September.

Suarez also lauded road improvements, including the widening and repaving of part of Milanos Road. Parts of Midway Road and Westgate Drive from Mile 9 Road to Mile 11 Road will also soon undergo road repairs.

In January, the city also settled the water treatment plant lawsuit for $1.9 million, ending a nearly two-year long legal battle with Briones Consulting and Engineering Ltd. and its owner Rolando Briones Jr.

“It seems fitting that the money derived from an injustice at the water treatment plant in part be invested … in our water billing system,” Suarez told the audience. “So, we are purchasing and installing new digital meters to make sure every water account pays its fair share and only its fair share.”

Suarez looks forward to the construction of a new fire house, a splash pad at Isaac Rodriguez Park and the opening of CI Logistics, a cotton warehouse, at the Mid Valley Industrial Park.

“We will honor our legacy as we build the future, the community of Weslaco, together,” Suarez said.