Primera’s new mayor pushes for new businesses

PRIMERA — How’s life in the big city?

Mayor Dave Kusch can tell you. Kusch, who was elected May 7, was born and raised in Chicago where he built a career as a sales engineer.

However, that’s also where he met his wife Vi, a Primera native. Over the course of their lives together they made many trips to her hometown.

“I fell in love with the location,” he said. “The people were very nice.”

When he was ready to retire 11 years ago, he and his wife moved here where they’d purchased a home years earlier.

Kusch didn’t waste any time participating in local government. He’d only been here about a year when he was elected alderman.

“This was the city where I was going to live,” he said matter-of-factly.

Kusch quickly endeared himself to the community. When the mayoral election approached, several residents encouraged him to run for mayor.

“I thought there were some things I wanted to push for,” he said. “I want to attract businesses in the city. I want to finish work on a veterans memorial.”

Kusch said he’d like to encourage H-E-B, Wal-Mart, Walgreens and other businesses to open here.

Would a city of 4,500 provide enough business? Possibly, considering the surrounding areas.

“It’s strategically located between I-69 and I-2,” he said. Interstate 2 is also known as Expressway 83, between Harlingen and McAllen.

The infrastructure for businesses is already in place. Part of the plan to encourage more residents and businesses has been the resurfacing of Primera Road about two years ago. Yesterday, the city celebrated the resurfacing of a section of Stuart Place Road running through town.

Javier Mendez, city administrator, said the city recently issued permits for an apartment complex with 128 units. The water and sewer systems are strong, and the city is prepared to offer tax abatements to businesses.

Kusch pointed out that the police department has improved safety and security in the city. Additional street lights have been strategically placed for additional security.

“We want to make it a community that you want to live in,” he said.

One of the more exceptional qualities about Primera, he said, is it offers large-city amenities and small town living.

“You’re within 30 minutes of any restaurants, hospitals, mall shopping in McAllen and Brownsville,” he said. “You have the outlet mall. You’re 45 minutes from the Island.”

However, businesses located in Primera could cut down on transportation and offer employment opportunities close to home.