Harlingen commissioners prioritizing goals for next 10 years

HARLINGEN — The city’s making a list of its top projects.

Today, city commissioners are meeting in a workshop to prioritize the city’s goals for the next 10 years.

The list will be based on the new 10-year plan called One Vision, One Harlingen Comprehensive Plan.

Consultants Halff & Associates drafted the 150-page plan, envisioning the city as a transportation hub with a vibrant retail district and thriving medical complex.

The plan sets goals during the next 10 years, including attracting businesses paying good salaries, an expanded warehousing market tying into Mexico’s highway system and expanded trails and nature centers along the Arroyo Colorado area.

The Interstate 2 and Interstate 69 corridor “is poised to become a regional retail and entertainment hub,” the consultants wrote.

The consultants recommend officials consider building a convention center.

Now, city officials are planning to build a $14 million, 43,000-square-foot convention center while a developer would build an adjacent 150-room upscale hotel in the growing Harlingen Heights business district.

The consultants also urge officials to consider building a “one-stop” City Hall.

The plan envisions the city as the Rio Grande Valley’s transportation hub while recommending expanding operations at Valley International Airport, the Free Trade Bridge and the Port of Harlingen.

The consultants also recommend the revitalization of the city’s core neighborhoods while promoting and developing “unique housing types.”

During the next 10 years, the city should continue to improve its parks, expanding them into the growing west side while building indoor recreational facilities, the consultants said.