Plans for sports complex draw fire

RAYMONDVILLE — Willacy County’s proposed $25 million project to build a sports and entertainment center is drawing criticism amid the area’s growing economic crisis.

After years of planning, county commissioners last week accepted a master plan that calls for the phased development of the Willacy County Natural Resource and Heritage Center.

The complex is planned for 100 acres of county-owned land off State Highway 186 near Interstate 69.

The project would be funded through grant money, said Sally Velasquez, the county’s consultant.

But some residents question whether the project will ever materialize.

Yesterday, the project drew criticism from residents concerned about spending amid an economic crisis that stems from last year’s closure of the Willacy County Correctional Center, which slashed a third of the county’s $8.1 million budget.

Last week, the fiscal crisis deepened after Walmart announced the closure of Raymondville’s store, which employs about 110 workers.

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