MISSION — Less than two weeks after the executive director of the National Butterfly Center reported government contractors were preparing the land for a proposed border fence, Mayor Norberto “Beto” Salinas denied that the center would be disturbed at all.

MISSION — Less than two weeks after the executive director of the National Butterfly Center reported government contractors were preparing the land for a proposed border fence, Mayor Norberto “Beto” Salinas denied that the center would be disturbed at all.

“It’s not going to bother the butterfly center at all,” Salinas said during a phone interview on Tuesday.

He said he was assured during a meeting last week with Border Patrol Rio Grande Valley Sector Chief Manuel Padilla that there would not be a border fence on top of the levee, which he said he would oppose, but simply a concrete wall on the side of the levee.

“What they’re going to do, they’re going to do a levee-wall,” Salinas said. “Instead of having a fence, we’re going to have a levee with a wall on the south side (made of cement).”

City Manager Martin Garza, who was also at the meeting, said there were no answers to where the wall/levee would be located.

“There is no concrete answer yet to the City of Mission on each particular site,” Garza said. “It’s preliminary.”

Garza said he arranged the meeting for Salinas to meet with Padilla and his staff to ensure they were well-informed and able to answer questions from the community.

They also wanted to voice their concerns about four sites in particular: Chimney Park RV Resort, a residential area for senior citizens; La Lomita Chapel, a historical site that from which the city derives its name; the World Birding Center; and the National Butterfly Center.

However, Garza said they were not told whether a levee/wall would specifically affect those areas.

One of the concerns raised to the city, Garza said, was whether there would be a secondary fence after the levee.

“We’re being advised that there is no secondary fence,” he said of what they were told at the meeting. “It’s just the wall being used also as levee, a concrete wall; however…I don’t know in which specific areas. Those are the answers that the City of Mission, ourselves, are looking for.”

Marianna Treviño Wright, the executive director of the National Butterfly Center said she discovered government contractors clearing a 150-foot-wide zone on the center’s property, which is private.

Jim Frisinger, spokesman for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, confirmed last week that work had begun near the center but that it was limited to mainly surveying and said their contractor had not performed any clearing or tree removals in that area.

However, Treviño Wright contradicted that, saying she saw crew members clearing trees on the land.

Salinas, the mayor, said it was early and argued that funds had not been budgeted for a fence.

The U.S. House of Representatives voted to authorize $1.6 billion for the border wall the same day Treviño Wright encountered the government contractors. The Senate has yet to approve the deal.

“A lot of people don’t know, they need to wait and find out,” Salinas said. “Nothing is going to happen in the next two to three years.”