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Edinburg EDC: Edinburg unemployment rate drops to 5.7 percent for July 2017, second-best in Valley, representing 36,037 jobs for that month

Featured: The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley School of Medicine in Edinburg. During their meeting in Austin on Wednesday, August 23, 2017 and Thursday, August 24, 2017, the University of Texas System Board of Regents reinforced its commitment to The UTRGV School of Medicine, which has a major campus in Edinburg, by approving $20 million in Permanent University Funds (PUF) for capital expenses. “We are grateful to the Board of Regents for its continued support of the UTRGV School of Medicine,” said Dr. John Krouse, Dean of the UTRGV School of Medicine and Vice president for Health Affairs. “This allocation will enable the School of Medicine to become a leader in research that will benefit the Rio Grande Valley and beyond, and prepare the next generation of physicians who will provide exceptional care to the communities they serve.” The Edinburg Mayor and Edinburg City Council, along with the Edinburg Economic Development Corporation and its Board of Directors, lobby the Texas Legislature and the UT System Board of Regents on matters that benefit and protect UTRGV and its School of Medicine, which have major campuses in the city.

Photograph by SILVER SALAS

For the second straight month, Edinburg and McAllen were the only two major Valley cities which posted unemployment rates under six percent, the Edinburg Economic  Development Corporation has announced. The unemployment rate is a key indicator of the strength of the local economy. For the month of July 2017, the latest figures available from the Texas Workforce Commission, Edinburg had an unemployment rate of 5.7 percent, which was an improvement from June 2017, which came in at 5.9 percent. This latest data also showed that Edinburg saw a growth of 492 jobs when comparing the monthly totals of July 2017 (36,037)and July 2016 (35,545), according to the Edinburg EDC. Edinburg and McAllen, which posted an unemployment rate of 5.2 percent, compared favorably with other large population centers in the Valley, which reported unemployment rates ranging from 6.5 percent (Harlingen) to9 percent (Weslaco). During 2017, Edinburg has recorded one of the lowest unemployment rates among Valley cities in April and May, and came in with the second-lowest unemploymentrates during the other months in 2017 through July. McAllen, which came in with a 5.4 percent unemployment in May 2017, tied Edinburg for the best showing for that month. For the past several years, Edinburg has registered the lowest or second-lowest monthly unemployment rates among all Valley cities. The unemployment rate is the number of persons unemployed, expressed as a percentage of the civilian labor force, according to the Texas Workforce Commission. The civilian labor force is that portion of the population age 16 and older employed or unemployed. To be considered unemployed, a person has to be not working but willing and able to work and actively seeking work. Edinburg’s July 2017unemployment rate of 5.7 percent is part of a consistent pattern of positive reports, including June 2017 (5.9), May 2017 (5.4 percent), April 2017 (5.4 percent), March 2017 (6 percent), February 2017 (6.4 percent) and January 2017 (6.2 percent). The Edinburg EDC, of which Agustín García is Executive Director, is the jobs-creation arm of the Edinburg Mayor and Edinburg City Council. The Edinburg EDC Board of Directors is comprised of Mayor Richard García as President, Harvey Rodríguez, Jr. as Vice President, Elías Longoria, Jr. as Secretary/Treasurer, and Richard Ruppert and Dr. Peter Dabrowski as Members. Mayor Richard García and Edinburg EDC Executive Director Agustín García are not related.

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Edinburg EDC, Grindstone Coworking announce second class, of 15 individuals, for Hive Effect, which prepares small business owners to succeed

Featured, key leaders and most of the new members of Hive Effect, an entrepreneur development initiative created by the Edinburg Economic Development Corporation, following their orientation session on Wednesday, August 23, 2017, at the offices of Grindstone Coworking, located at 506 West University Drive. From left, front row, are: José Chávez; Gerardo González; Donica Landa; Renee Sánchez; and Dani Marrero. From left, back row: Cooper Thompson; Steven De Los Santos; Agustín García, Executive Director, Edinburg Economic Development Corporation; Daniel Rivera, Founder, Grindstone Coworking and Director of Hive Effect in Edinburg; Elizabeth Martínez; Marco Barrios-Espinoza; Mark Laguñez; Pete Díaz; and Cirano Lagunas. Not shown in this image are Noé Ramos, Mark Harris, and Mauricio Atilano.

Photograph By JENNIFER CABRERA

The Edinburg Economic Development Corporation, in collaboration with Grindstone Coworking, has announced the second cohort (new set of members) of the Hive Effect, which is an innovative entrepreneur development initiative designed to help local businesses, particularly small firms and sole proprietors, to succeed and prosper.  According to its website (http://hiveeffect.com/about-us/): Hive Effect uses a three-pronged approach to cultivate the entrepreneurial ecosystem and promote regional collaboration. It utilizes coworking, education, and mentorship to help both startups and existing businesses; Hive Effect conducts a six-month education program called the Hive Effect Learning Program (HELP). Applications for HELP are reviewed for acceptance twice each year to select cohort participants. Hive Effect partners with local and regional entrepreneurial organizations and businesses with programs and events that aim to grow the entrepreneurial ecosystem across the Rio Grande Valley; and Grindstone Coworking, located at 506 West University Drive, is a membership-based office in Edinburg. Designed for mobile workers, freelancers, and startups, the office provides workspace, phone booths, private suites, conference rooms, training rooms, a copy center, mailboxes and other amenities for today’s modern businesses. “The EDC is excited to again partner up with Grindstone Coworking to promote this second, six-month initiative,” said Agustín García, Executive Director, Edinburg Economic Development Corporation. “Hive Effect has become a valuable resource for some of our city’s most exciting new businesses.” Daniel Rivera, founder of Grindstone Coworking and Director of Hive Effect, added: “We’re proud of what we’ve accomplished with Hive Effect since its launch in September 2016. Our coursework, mentorship and implementation of the coworking concept last year helped 10 entrepreneurs achieve great things for their respective businesses, and we’re happy to announce our second cohort (new set of members) of 15 individuals to our growing community.” The Edinburg EDC is the jobs-creation arm of the Edinburg Mayor and Edinburg City Council, which includes Mayor Pro Tem J.R. Betancourt, Councilmember Homer Jasso, Jr. Councilmember Richard Molina, and Councilmember David Torres. The Edinburg EDC Board of Directors is comprised Mayor Richard García as President, Harvey Rodríguez, Jr. as Vice President, Elías Longoria, Jr. as Secretary/Treasurer, and Richard Rupert and Dr. Peter Dabrowski as Members. Mayor Richard García and Edinburg EDC Executive Agustín García are not related.

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UTRGV’s Dr. Lydia López Aguilera gains highest standard of certification for pharmacists

Dr. Lydia López Aguilera, Director of the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley/UT Austin College of Pharmacy and Clinical Associate Professor in the UTRGV Cooperative Pharmacy Program, has added another level of expertise to an impressive list of accomplishments by achieving board certification in ambulatory care pharmacy from the National Board of Pharmacy Specialties (BPS). Aguilera is a native of Edinburg.

Photograph By PAUL CHOUY

Visitors to Dr. Lydia López Aguilera’s office are greeted by a wall full of framed educational accomplishments, recognitions of her achievements and thankful notes from her pharmacy students at The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley. Now, at age 60, the director of the UTRGV/UT Austin Cooperative Pharmacy Program has added another level of expertise in her field by achieving board certification in ambulatory care pharmacy from the National Board of Pharmacy Specialties (BPS). “Gaining the certification builds your foundation of knowledge. It’s a review, but you also learn new things – and knowledge is power – allowing you to not only help your patient, but also your team of doctors, nurses, dieticians and other healthcare team members,” said Aguilera, a Clinical Associate professor who has headed UTRGV’s cooperative program since 2010. The announcement of her latest achievement was made on Thursday, August 31, 2017. Board certification through the BPS is recognized as the highest standard for determining which pharmacists are qualified to contribute at advanced levels of practice.

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Edinburg EDC: City, school district, UTRGV begin efforts to help with disaster relief for countless Texans hurt by Hurricane Harvey

IDL TIFF file

As Hurricane Harvey approached the shores over coastal Texas on Thursday, August 24, 2017, Edinburg and Rio Grande Valley were alarmed over the possibility that it could strike close to home. Instead, deep South Texas was spared from what became one of the most powerful hurricanes in history – a category 4 storm thaton Friday night, August 25, 2017 packed wind gusts up to 132 miles per hour northeast of Corpus Christi, and which has caused billions of dollars in damages and human suffering from flooding in the Houston region in the following days. 

Photograph By NASA

Local officials and organizations are pulling together resources as part of a national effort to help the countless Texans hurt by Hurricane Harvey, which on Friday, August 25, 2017 slammed into the Texas Coastal Bend, anchored by Corpus Christi, threatened metropolitan areas of San Antonio and Austin, and has produced epic flooding in the Houston region, including the displacing of thousands of homeowners, the Edinburg Economic Development Corporation has announced. “We wish all those (affected by Hurricane Harvey) well, and we ask that you put them in your prayers, because God knows they need it,” Agustín García, Jr., Executive Director for the Edinburg EDC, said Monday, August 28, 2017, during the Edinburg EDC Facebook live broadcast, “Edinburg Connects”. In response to the humanitarian disaster that has taken place elsewhere in Texas, the City of Edinburg, the Edinburg Consolidated Independent School District, and the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, which has its main campus and its School of Medicine in Edinburg, have announced their respective assistance plans, which began on Monday, August 28, 2017 and will continue through the upcoming weekend and beyond. The Edinburg EDC is the jobs-creation arm of the Edinburg Mayor and Edinburg City Council. The Edinburg EDC Board of Directors is comprised of Mayor Richard García as President, Harvey Rodríguez, Jr. as Vice President, Elías Longoria, Jr., as Secretary/Treasurer, and Richard Ruppert and Dr. Peter Dabrowski as Members. Mayor Richard García and Edinburg EDC Executive Director Agustín García are not related.

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Edinburg EDC to launch “Edinburg Connect”, a Facebook page live broadcast, with first episode set for 10 a.m. on Monday, August 28, 2017

The Edinburg Economic Development Corporation will launch “Edinburg Connect”, a live interactive broadcast on its Facebook page, beginning at 10 a.m. on Monday, August 28, 2017. “We have a new medium, ‘Edinburg Connect’, and we are going to reach out to you so you can reach out to us, and we can talk with each other, live, on Facebook,” explains Agustín García, Executive Director of the Edinburg EDC, in a recent posting on the Edinburg EDC Facebook page.“You can ask  questions and we are going to give you answers. We will have guests from the city, guests from the county, guests from everywhere. We are very excited about our new initiative, ‘Edinburg Connect’, here at the Edinburg EDC.” One of the viewers who participates in the live event will have the chance to win a $100 gift card to Bob’s Steak & Chop House in Edinburg. The Edinburg EDC’s Facebook page is available at:http://www.facebook.com/edinburgedc

Photograph By JENNIFER CABRERA

The Edinburg Economic Development Corporation has announced the creation of “Edinburg Connect”, a live broadcast on the Edinburg EDC Facebook page that will provide viewers worldwide the chance to see and hear from, and to interact with, city, county and other leaders about economic development activities, successes and related goals for the city. The first episode will go online live on Monday, August 28, 2017, beginning at 10 a.m. The Edinburg EDC is the jobs-creation arm of Edinburg Mayor Richard García and the Edinburg City Council, which includes Mayor Pro Tem J.R. Betancourt, Councilmember Homer Jasso, Jr., Councilmember Richard Molina, and Councilmember David Torres. In addition to Mayor García, who serves as President of the Edinburg EDC Board of Directors, the other board members are Harvey Rodríguez, Jr. as Vice President, Elías Longoria, Jr. as Secretary/Treasurer, and Richard Rupert and Dr. Peter Dabrowski as Members. Mayor Richard García  and Edinburg EDC Executive Director Agustín García are not related. New live broadcasts of “Edinburg Connect” are scheduled to take place every two weeks, and all episodes will be remain on the Edinburg EDC Facebook page. 

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Edinburg Economic Development Corporation reports almost $195 million in construction activities in city from January through July 2017

Featured, from left: Agustín García, Executive Director, Edinburg Economic Development Corporation, and Mark Hanna, Publisher, Rio Grande Guardian, pause for a photograph at the Edinburg EDC complex, located in the city’s downtown, prior to a live video broadcast on Wednesday August 16, 2017 by the international news publication, which launched in July 2005. García, in an hour-long interview, provided detailed information on the achievements and goals of the Edinburg EDC, which is the jobs-creation arm of the Edinburg Mayor and Edinburg City Council. The interview, in its entirety, is available for viewing at the Edinburg EDC Facebook page.

Photograph By STEVE TAYLOR

Total construction activities in Edinburg from January through July 2017, including more than $23.3 million for the month of July, reached $194.6 million, compared with $152.4 million during the first seven months of 2016, the Edinburg Economic Development Corporation has announced. During July 2017, new construction of multi-family homes and new construction of single-family residences led the way, with the issuance of building permits for investments valued at more than $9.5 million and more than $6 million, respectively.  The top construction projects in Edinburg for July 2017, not including the value of the land, are: $8,603,477 –Wisconsin Street Housing LP, 2132 E. Wisconsin Rd., The Heights Subdivision; $2,100,000 – Lakeside Produce USA, 1302 S. 28th, Tex-Mex Subdivision; $1,500,000 – Dan and Jacky Damon Family Trust, 508 W. Trenton Rd., Kelly-Pharr Subdivision; $1,498,000 – City Of Edinburg Fire Station No. 3, 8502 Jasman Road; and $1,400,000 – Raising Cane’s Restaurant, LLC, 718 W. University Dr., Edinburg Original Townsite Subdivision. Those year-to-date and monthly totals do not include the value of any building-related activities at The University of Texas-Rio Grande Valley and the UTRGV School of Medicine in Edinburg because the state government, not the city, oversees all construction at the Edinburg campus. The building permits do not include the value of the land for the homes and buildings. The Edinburg EDC, of which Gus García is Executive Director, is the jobs-creation arm of the Edinburg Mayor and Edinburg City Council. The Edinburg EDC Board of Directors is comprised of Mayor Richard García as President, Harvey Rodríguez, Jr. as Vice President, Elías Longoria, Jr., as Secretary/Treasurer, and Richard Ruppert and Dr. Peter Dabrowski as Members. Mayor Richard García and Edinburg EDC Executive Director Gus García are not related. In general, a building permit is legal permission given by the City of Edinburg, through the Code Enforcement Department, to erect, construct, renovate, maintain, or conduct any other specified activity on any building or structure, or on any installations or facilities therein. The term “building permit” includes but is not limited to building permits, electrical permits, mechanical permits, and plumbing permits.

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With young namesake’s health in the balance, Rep. Terry Canales utilizes Facebook page to ask for prayers for son’s possible heart surgeries

Featured, Terry Andrés Canales, II, son of Rep. Terry Canales, D-Edinburg, seated at his father’s desk on the floor of the Texas House of Representatives in a photo posted on the state lawmaker’s Facebook page on Monday, July 24, 2017. The youngster, one of five children of Terry and Erica E. Canales, is set to undergo a series of heart surgeries at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio beginning on Wednesday, August 23, 2017, for a heart defect called coarctation of the aorta. According to http://www.nationwidechildrens.org/coarctation-of-the-aorta: “Coarctation of the aorta is a congenital heart defect where the aorta is narrowed (obstructed) and usually occurs just past the left subclavian artery (supplies blood to the left upper body) and results in decreased blood flow to the lower body. The left ventricle (pumping chamber) of the heart must work harder in order to pump blood through the narrowed aorta.”

Photograph Courtesy REP. TERRY CANALES FACEBOOK

Terry Andrés Canales, II, a son of Rep. Terry Canales, D-Edinburg, and wife Erica E. Canales, is set to undergo a series of heart surgeries at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio beginning on Wednesday, August 23, 2017, for a heart defect called coarctation of the aorta. In addition to Terry Andrés Canales, II, the House District 40 state representative and his wife also a parents to Caleb Ezra, Trígo, and Catalina, and the lawmaker is the stepfather of Juliana Figueroa. “I would be less than honest if I said we weren’t racked with fear of the uncertain, and that this hasn’t consumed our every waking moment for the last several months and left us virtually sleepless,” the House District 40 lawmaker readily acknowledged in his Facebook posting on Sunday, August 20, 2017. “But our faith in God is unwavering. Their son, “Bebo”, was two years old when he was diagnosed with the heart defect, Canales explained on his Facebook page. “Our family has hoped and prayed that the situation would correct itself, but with every passing follow up, that didn’t seem to be the case,” Canales said. “This Wednesday (August 23, 2017), my wife and I will travel to Columbus, Ohio with him where he will undergo the first of what we are told will be a series of heart surgeries.”

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Edinburg EDC: Upcoming new fire station in north Edinburg will power economic growth, improve public safety for key region of the city

Featured, on Wednesday, May 10, 2017, for the groundbreaking of the $1.6+ million Edinburg Fire Station No. 5, to be built at 8502 N. Jasman Road in north Edinburg, are, from left: Augie Lozano, Public Relations Manager, Bert Ogden Auto Group and Member, Edinburg Chamber of Commerce; Letty González, President, Edinburg Chamber of Commerce; Mario Lizcano, Director of Corporate Affairs, Doctors Hospital at Renaissance and Member, Board of Directors, Edinburg Chamber of Commerce; Councilmember David Torres; Mayor Richard García and President, Board of Directors, Edinburg Economic Development Corporation; Councilmember Homer Jasso, Jr.; Councilmember Richard Molina and Member, Board of Directors, Edinburg Chamber of Commerce; Fire Chief Shawn Snider; and Alex Ríos, District Director, Office of State Rep. Terry Canales, D-Edinburg, and Member, Board of Directors, Edinburg Chamber of Commerce.

Photograph By RONNIE LARRALDE

More business and residential developments, along with improved public safety protections, will soon be coming to an estimated combined total of 60,000 city and Hidalgo County residents as a result of recent decisions by elected leaders, the Edinburg Economic Development Corporation has announced. Edinburg Fire Station No. 5, a 9,571-square foot facility – which also will house emergency medical services (EMS ambulance) – is set to open around the spring of 2018. The complex, being constructed by Candela Organization, LLC, will be the first fire station in the northern part of the city. Edinburg Fire Station No. 5 will be a full service station with four fire trucks and one ambulance, and will be equipped with dormitories, a kitchen, and a workout area to house up to 10 firefighters and two ambulance attendants. “Besides the obvious advantages of bringing emergency fire protection and emergency medical services (ambulance) closer to hundreds of residences and businesses, fire insurance premiums will be more affordable,” said Agustín García, Executive Director of the Edinburg Economic Development Corporation. “Together, those two elements should help more businesses expand or locate in north Edinburg, making Edinburg Fire Station No. 5 an economic engine which will help power more jobs, increase prosperity, and generate more residential and commercial developments in that region.” The Edinburg EDC is the jobs-creation arm of the Edinburg Mayor and Edinburg City Council. The Edinburg EDC Board of Directors is comprised of Mayor Richard García as President, Harvey Rodríguez, Jr. as Vice President, Elías Longoria, Jr., as Secretary/Treasurer, and Richard Ruppert and Dr. Peter Dabrowski as Members. Mayor Richard García and Edinburg EDC Executive Director Gus García are not related.

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Edinburg EDC: Bob’s Steak & Chop House, a world-class establishment, is the latest addition to Edinburg’s prestige as a destination city

Featured, front row, representing Bob’s Steak & Chop House in Edinburg, the Edinburg City Council, and the Edinburg Economic Development Corporation, include, from left: City Councilmember Homer Jasso; Juan Luis Mussenden, General Manager, Bob’s Steak & Chop House in Edinburg; Peter Higgins, Managing Partner, Bob’s Steak & Chop House in Edinburg; Gus García, Executive Director, Edinburg Economic Development Corporation (immediately behind Peter Higgins); Mayor Richard García, who also serves as President, Board of Directors, Edinburg Economic Development Corporation; and City Councilmember Richard Molina. These leaders were among the several hundred area residents who participated in the Wednesday, July 19, 2017 ribbon-cutting of the five-star, multi-million dollar restaurant, located at the Shoppes at Rio Grande Valley. The restaurant is just off U.S. Expressway 281 in the heart of Edinburg. Bob’s combines a lively atmosphere, fine wines and large cuts of the finest prime steaks, chops and seafood to make Bob’s the best steak house in any town. Known for their prime filets, Bob’s only serves prime beef, hand-selected from the top two percent of all beef, perfectly trimmed and expertly grilled. Bob’s also offers delicious sides and desserts made from scratch, and included with every steak, their famous pickles, choice of potato and signature big glazed carrot. Letty González, President of the Edinburg Chamber of Commerce, shared community leaders enthusiasm for Bob’s Steak & Chop House in Edinburg. “We are excited to welcome our new member to Edinburg,” said González. “Bob’s is a beautiful and unique dining experience that will be unparalleled in our area. This is just an indication of all the great things going on in Edinburg.”

Photograph By RONNIE LARRALDE

Featured, from left: Gus García, Executive Director, Edinburg Economic Development Corporation, congratulates Peter Higgins, Managing Partner, Bob’s Steak and Chop House in Edinburg, following the ribbon-cutting ceremony for the restaurant, which took place on Wednesday, July 19, 2017. “Edinburg’s restaurants are fantastic, and they serve phenomenal food, great meals, you name it. Now, having an elite restaurant like Bob’s Steak & Chop House changes the image for the entire South Texas region. This is the first nationally-recognized five-star restaurant in Edinburg and deep South Texas,” said García. “Bob’s has a nationally known reputation. By doing well in Edinburg, it will once again prove that our region can support, and deserves, the very best life has to offer.” Higgins heaped praise on deep South Texas. “People have asked me several times recently, ‘Why Edinburg, Texas?’ Well, I’ll tell you why. It is a tremendous growth environment,” Higgins said. “If you look at the city itself with its growth, a new Hidalgo County Courthouse that will be built, several world-class hotels, a nationally-ranked university with a School of Medicine, and the Bert Ogden Arena and H-E-B Park near our site – well, the list goes on and on.”

Featured, from left: Jaime Cazares, District Sales Manager, Ben E. Keith Foods; Debra Stolley; Roger Stolley, NAI Rio Grande Valley (Commercial Real Estate Services Worldwide); Byron Jay Lewis, President and CEO, Edwards Abstract and Title Co., and Peter Higgins, Managing Partner, Bob’s Steak & Chop House in Edinburg, seated inside the Lenox Lounge in the multi-million dollar five-star restaurant, located at 591 East Trenton Road in Edinburg, at the Shoppes at Rio Grande Valley. The Lenox Lounge, part of the approximately 9,000-square-foot facility, is named in honor of William “Bill” W. Lenox, former president of the Bob’s Steak & Chop House national chain of fine dining establishments. Lenox, who died on Friday, January 20, 2016, was the key player in bringing the restaurant to Edinburg. According to his obituary, published in the Dallas Morning News, “Lenox, known for his entrepreneurial success, generous spirit and engaging character, passed away after suffering a heart attack at his home in Vail, Colorado. He was 70.” (http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/dallasmorningnews/obituary.aspx?pid=183988366)

Photograph By MARCO DAVID SOLIS

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Edinburg Economic Development Corporation reports almost $173 million in construction activities in city for the first half of 2017

Featured: The Edinburg Chamber of Commerce’s former presidents and chairmen of its Board of Directors on Thursday, June 22, 2017 celebrated their reunion at the historic Southern Pacific Train Depot, home of the Edinburg Chamber of Commerce and the Convention and Visitors Bureau. Seated, from left, are: Cris M. Torres, Greater State Bank; Edna Peña, Gotta Love It; Letty González, President, Edinburg Chamber of Commerce; Elva Jackson Garza, Edwards Abstract and Title Co.; Dina Araguz, International Bank of Commerce; and Cynthia García Robles, Gold Financial Services. Standing, from left: Marty Martin, Rio Valley Realty; Mark Magee, PlainsCapital Bank; Mitch Roberts (formerly Roberts Chevrolet); Bob Gaston (formerly Bob Gaston Real Estate); Byron Jay Lewis, Edwards Abstract and Title Co.; Aaron Peña, Sr., Law Firm of Aaron Peña, Sr.; Johnny Rodríguez, Bert Odgen Dealership Group; and Joe H. Ramón, formerly Joe H. Ramón Realty. Not pictured is Dr. Larry N. Balli, D.D.S.

Photograph By RONNIE LARRALDE

Total construction activities in Edinburg from January through June 2017, including more than $22 million for the month of June, reached $172.7 million, compared with $131.7 million during the first half of 2016, the Edinburg Economic Development Corporation has announced. During June 2017, new construction of single-family homes and new construction of commercial buildings led the way, with the issuance of building permits for investments valued at more than $6.4 million and $4.7 million, respectively. The value of one new city government building (City of Edinburg Engineering Department) came in a close third for that month, being issued a building permit for work valued at more than $4.5 million. Those year-to-date and monthly totals do not include the value of any building-related activities at The University of Texas-Rio Grande Valley and the UTRGV School of Medicine in Edinburg because the state government, not the city, oversees all construction at the Edinburg campus. The building permits do not include the value of the land for the homes and buildings. The Edinburg EDC, of which Gus García is Executive Director, is the jobs-creation arm of the Edinburg Mayor and Edinburg City Council. The Edinburg EDC Board of Directors is comprised of Mayor Richard García as President, Harvey Rodríguez, Jr. as Vice President, Elías Longoria, Jr., as Secretary/Treasurer, and Richard Ruppert and Dr. Peter Dabrowski as Members. Mayor Richard García and Edinburg EDC Executive Director Gus García are not related. In general, a building permit is legal permission given by the City of Edinburg, through the Code Enforcement Department, to erect, construct, renovate, maintain, or conduct any other specified activity on any building or structure, or on any installations or facilities therein. The term “building permit” includes but is not limited to building permits, electrical permits, mechanical permits, and plumbing permits.

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