In the aftermath of a disaster, the city of Mission received $3 million as part of recovery efforts from the federal government but also as an investment into the city’s economic development.
The U.S. Economic Development Administration awarded the Mission Economic Development Corporation $3 million for infrastructure improvements to the Shary Village Industrial Park.
The grant is intended to fund drainage as well as other infrastructure for the industrial park and is purportedly, expected to create 300 jobs and spur more than $57 million in private investment.
Economic Development Administration, an agency under the U.S. Department of Commerce, awarded Mission the funds following severe rain flooding in June 2018.
To be eligible for the grant, the Federal Emergency Management Agency must have declared an area a natural disaster, a designation granted to all of Hidalgo County at that time.
“That allowed your community to be eligible for the funds in Congress appropriated to EDA for 2018 and 2019 disasters throughout the nation,” said Jorge Ayala, regional director at the EDA, during a news conference Friday.
“EDA is in the economic recovery business, of helping communities create a better environment for the future, whether that’s recovering quickly from that disaster or making them more resilient for future disasters.”
On top of the $3 million, the city is investing $750,000 into the project.
“Once we finish this project, and while we’re doing this project, this project will be the catalyst for the industrial park that we’re working on on the south side of Mission,” said Mayor Armando O’Caña.
One of the companies that has already invested in the area is Laredo-based Killam Companies which, in December 2019, announced the acquisition of 3,400 acres of land in South Mission and McAllen.
Rolando Ortiz, the real estate development manager for Killam Co., said this public/private partnership would aid small businesses and reiterated that it would create jobs in the city.
“It will also facilitate the flood mitigation in the area,” Ortiz added, “and this will help the small businesses that do look at this industrial park to be safe, have a proper environment to work in and it will also help our first responders have good connectivity during these emergencies.”
U.S. Rep. Henry Cuellar, D-Laredo, who led the announcement of the funds, praised city officials, the EDA, and others involved in the acquiring the grant.
“This will have an impact,” he said.