LETTERS: Courthouse project, school locations, public safety

Stop the courthouse project and fund drainage upgrades

All of The Monitor’s readers have heard this before, many from me: Stop the new courthouse.

Why? Because we cant afford it.

It doesn’t matter if the county commissioners have found some money in a bottle to build it. That money can go to offset the cost to fix our antique drainage system at least to a level where thunderstorms like the recent ones won’t cost us millions in repairs to homes, businesses and infrastructure. We do not need to get into pointing fingers because the citizens, the cities, the county, TxDOT and even IBWC share the blame.

We need the county to establish proactive rules for new subdivisions and commercial developments. These need to limit the amount of a property that can be covered with non-permeable surfaces such as buildings, driveways, pools, garages, patios, sidewalks and parking lots.

The remaining run-off should then be required to go to lakes, established and paid for by the developer, not taxpayers. Unlike neighborhood swales, they must be maintained. They must be equipped with pumps and gates to empty them rather than let them harbor mosquitoes.

But, above all, the Raymondville Drain must be completed in three years. Of course it’s possible, just expensive. If you hadn’t noticed, this is a public emergency and the end result will be good for citizens of Hidalgo, Cameron and Willacy counties. All the state needs to do is allow land to be acquired quickly at a fair price through eminent domain, and then dig a darn ditch. Or, because the patch jobs aren’t working, we continue to flood. Those are the options because it isn’t going to get better.

Ned Sheats, Mission

 

Locate schools away from congested streets

It seems none of the cities in Hidalgo county use a city planner to figure out how to design city growth … you know, someone who plans how the city streets will be laid out, where malls should be located, etc.

My gripe is with school locations. Why must they always be located on busy thoroughfares, where the 20 mph speed limits slow down rush hour traffic at peak times in the morning and after work? Never mind endangering the students. How hard is it during the permit process to ask the school developer to put the school at least one block away from main roads, all the while keeping in mind the space needed for parents waiting in line to pick up their kids?

For those who do the buying of land for future schools, please include a city planner/urban regional planner into your discussions of where to buy land for future schools that reduce intrusion into major roads. I am sure a reduction in road rage is an added plus.

Ferdinando Garcia, Edinburg

 

Local leaders should invest in public safety

Outer space to Hidalgo County and McAllen.

Wow, Sunday’s articles on the editorial, “Federal disaster declaration for recent floods is welcome,” and page 1A, “Money for the drain,” are straining the imagination of all.

I’ve lived here for 25 years and we have had how many events of flooding? What has Hidalgo County and all of the communities done so far? Apparently, the answer is not enough; inadequate planning and preparation, etc.

We spend lots on civic centers, parks, football fields, etc., but we cannot solve drainage? It is time to get leaders who take care of public safety and health first, in my humble opinion.

Jeffrey Berry, McAllen

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