Public hearing seeks input into Raymondville’s next 10 years

RAYMONDVILLE — The city is charting the course for its next 10 years.

Today, city commissioners will hold a public hearing to give residents an opportunity to help draft the city’s next comprehensive plan.

“It’s information the public will give,” City Manager Eleazar Garcia said. “We’d like to get their input.”

Topics will include economic development, water, sewer, drainage, streets, housing and land use.

“What do people want to say about where economic development should be, what do they want to see for water, streets, drainage?” Garcia asked.

In a workshop, city commissioners also will discuss the city’s goals.

Mayor Gilbert Gonzales called street repairs his top priority.

“That’s pretty much the No. 1 thing to do,” Gonzales said.

Commissioner Zeke Cavazos said his priorities include drainage and street improvements.

The city will use a $55,000 grant and $20,000 in city money to fund development of the comprehensive plan.

Garcia said GrantWorks, an Austin consulting firm, will help the city draft its next 10-year plan.

The plan will help the city apply for grant money to help fund prioritized projects, Garcia said.

“It’s a planning tool to go after grants,” Garcia said. “I’ll have data to show in 10 years this is where we want to be.”

Willacy County’s recent sale of the former tent-city prison is expected reap a windfall, giving the city more money to match grants.

The sale will put the 53-acre property on the tax rolls, potentially generating $500,000 a year in property tax revenue, equal to about one-third of Raymondville’s current tax base — if the property is appraised at $68 million, the amount owed to bond holders, Garcia said.