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Featured: City Councilmember Gilbert Enríquez is sworn in on Wednesday, November 15, 2017 in the Council Chamber at Edinburg City Hall. With Enríquez in this image is his wife, Diana, and Judge Patty Ocañas-Olivarez, who administered the oath of office to the city councilmember, who soon after was appointed by his colleagues to serve on the five-member Edinburg Economic Development Corporation Board of Directors. The Edinburg EDC is the jobs-creation arm of the Edinburg Mayor and Edinburg City Council.  Along with Councilmember Enríquez, who serves as President of the Edinburg EDC Board of Directors,  Edinburg School Board Trustee Miguel “Mike” Farías serves as Vice-President, Isael Posadas, P.E., is Secretary/Treasurer, and Julio César Carranza and Noé Sauceda, Ph.D., are Members.

Photograph By MARK MONTEMAYOR

The Edinburg Economic Development Corporation’s downtown offices, effective on Monday, January 29, 2018, will complete its relocation to Edinburg City Hall in order to generate new, non-tax revenue for its jobs-creation mission, Mayor Richard Molina and City Councilmember Gilbert Enríquez, the President of the EEDC Board of Directors, have announced. The Edinburg EDC is now based on the second floor at City Hall, as part of the Edinburg City Manager’s suite. The Edinburg EDC’s telephone number – 956/383-7124 – remains the same. “Upon my request, Edinburg City Manager Richard Hinojosa confirmed that there were excellent office space and related resources available at City Hall to house the staff and activities of the Edinburg Economic Development Corporation and its Board of Directors,” the mayor said. “This action allows the Edinburg EDC to lease its vacated offices spaces, which will generate new non-tax revenue for its many vital projects.” Soon to be listed as available for lease, the former Edinburg EDC offices, located at 101 North 10th Avenue, represent 3,200-square feet. That suite, which is part of the building owned by the Edinburg EDC, features five offices, one receptionist area, two conference rooms, a kitchen, one work station, a waiting area, a copy area, three bathrooms, closets and storage rooms. Rep. Terry Canales’ legislative offices will remain in the other half of the Edinburg EDC building, which is located at 415 West University Drive, immediately west of the Hidalgo County Courthouse. “In our dedication to help existing businesses to expand, and to recruit new businesses, Edinburg City Hall will now truly become a one-stop center for economic development, because all the key issues needed for businesses to grow, from learning the zoning requirements, obtaining building permits, meeting with the key city and Edinburg EDC leadership, and so on, all will now take place in one location,” said Enríquez. “So when potential developers come into City Hall, they are able to go to every department and get the answers they need in order to continue with the activities they want to do in Edinburg.” The Edinburg EDC Board of Directors is comprised of Enríquez as President, Edinburg School Board Trustee Miguel “Mike” Farías as Vice-President, Isael Posadas, P.E., as Secretary/Treasurer, and Julio César Carranza and Noé Sauceda, Ph.D., as Members.

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Edinburg EDC offices, effective on Monday, January 29, 2018, will be housed in Edinburg City Hall in order to generate new non-tax revenue for its jobs-creation mission, announce Mayor Molina and EEDC Board of Directors President Enríquez

By DAVID A. DÍAZ
Legislativemedia@aol.com 

The Edinburg Economic Development Corporation’s downtown offices, effective on Monday, January 29, 2018, will complete its relocation to Edinburg City Hall in order to generate new, non-tax revenue for its jobs-creation mission, Mayor Richard Molina and City Councilmember Gilbert Enríquez, the President of the EEDC Board of Directors, have announced.

The Edinburg EDC is now based on the second floor at City Hall, as part of the Edinburg City Manager’s suite.

The Edinburg EDC’s  telephone number – 956/383-7124 – remains the same.

“Upon my request, Edinburg City Manager Richard Hinojosa confirmed that there were excellent office space and related resources available at City Hall to house the staff and activities of the Edinburg Economic Development Corporation and its Board of Directors,” the mayor said. “This action allows the Edinburg EDC to lease its vacated offices spaces, which will generate new non-tax revenue for its many vital projects.”

Soon to be listed as available for lease, the former Edinburg EDC offices, located at 101 North 10th Avenue, represent 3,200-square feet. That suite, which is part of the building owned by the Edinburg EDC, features five offices, one receptionist area, two conference rooms, a kitchen, one work station, a waiting area, a copy area, three bathrooms, closets and storage rooms.

Rep. Terry Canales’ legislative offices will remain in the other half of the Edinburg EDC building, which is located at 415 West University Drive, immediately west of the Hidalgo County Courthouse.

The Edinburg EDC Board of Directors, in open session of their Monday, December 18, 2017 meeting, renewed a two-year lease with the Texas House of Representatives allowing Canales’ House District 40 District Office to continue operations in that complex.

The Edinburg EDC Board of Directors already use the Council Chambers at Edinburg City Hall for its public meetings, which are broadcast to the public by the Edinburg Cable Network, Molina noted.

He added the Edinburg EDC and its duties, which range from helping retain, expand, and attract businesses and their jobs, to influencing state and federal legislative policies and laws in the best interest of economic growth and quality of life in Edinburg, will remain priorities for the city leadership.

“My colleagues and I on the Edinburg City Council have appointed outstanding leaders from our community to serve on the Board of Directors for the Edinburg EDC, and we have the utmost confidence in their combined experiences and skills to move the Edinburg EDC forward into a more open- government, transparent, accessible, and successful future as a public entity, and for all the people of Edinburg.”

The Edinburg EDC Board of Directors is comprised of Enríquez as President, Edinburg School Board Trustee Miguel “Mike” Farías as Vice-President, Isael Posadas, P.E., as Secretary/Treasurer, and Julio César Carranza and Noé Sauceda, Ph.D., as Members.

“The Edinburg EDC is an extension of the City of Edinburg, therefore it is only logical that it should be in City Hall so they can utilize planning and zoning and engineering, as well as the city manager’s personnel and other resources,” Enríquez said.

The Development Corporation Act of 1979 gives cities the ability to finance new and expanded business enterprises in their local communities through economic development corporations (EDCs), according to the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts. Chapters 501, 504 and 505 of the Local Government Code outline the characteristics of Type A and Type B EDCs, authorize cities to adopt a sales tax to fund the corporations and define projects EDCs are allowed to undertake. (https://comptroller.texas.gov/economy/local/type-ab/index.php)

“In our dedication to help existing businesses to expand, and to recruit new businesses, Edinburg City Hall will now truly become a one-stop center for economic development, because all the key issues needed for businesses to grow, from learning the zoning requirements, obtaining building permits, meeting with the key city and Edinburg EDC leadership, and so on, all will now take place in one location,” said Enríquez. “So when potential developers come into City Hall, they are able to go to every department and get the answers they need in order to continue with the activities they want to do in Edinburg.”

As part of streamlining operations and improving efficiency, the Edinburg EDC also will save money on several levels.

“Just the utilities and maintenance that we were paying for the former Edinburg EDC offices and the potential income that we are losing from not being able lease out that office space, until now, is significant,” Enríquez explained.

He added, “There is much more parking space available at City Hall, and City Hall is indeed the heart of business, commerce, and government in Edinburg, since it is within walking distance to The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley and its Medical School, to the Edinburg Transit Terminal now under construction, to the Edinburg school district’s Administration Building, to the District Office for State Rep. Terry Canales, to the Hidalgo County Courthouse, and more.”

UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS RIO GRANDE VALLEY SCHOOL OF MEDICINE RECEIVES $650,000 IN GRANTS FROM METHODIST HEALTHCARE MINISTRIES

Officials with the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley School of Medicine on Monday, January 22, 2018, announced that it has been awarded two grants totaling $650,000 from Methodist Healthcare Ministries of South Texas Inc. for two of its clinical outreach initiatives.

Specifically, the School of Medicine received $500,000 for its Integrated Care Collaborative Unit (ICCU), and $150,000 for its Interprofessional Community-Based Practice and Education Project.

“We are delighted to receive this funding from Methodist Healthcare Ministries to continue serving our community,” said Dr. John H. Krouse, Dean of the UTRGV School of Medicine and Vice President for Health Affairs at UTRGV. “Through these grants, Methodist Healthcare Ministries has demonstrated its confidence in the School of Medicine to provide excellent care to members of the community who need it the most.”

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.

This is the fourth award UTRGV has received from Methodist Healthcare Ministries for the ICCU and the second it has received for the Interprofessional Community-Based Practice and Education Project. Methodist Healthcare Ministries previously awarded a total of more than $2.3 million to the School of Medicine for the ICCU, to provide integrated care to improve the mental health outcomes of children and adolescents who are triply diagnosed.

“We are pleased to once again partner with UTRGV,” said Anne Connor, director of community grants at Methodist Healthcare Ministries. “Methodist Healthcare Ministries’ grant-making is rooted in partnerships that promote access to care and integrated health care programs. UTRGV has been an invaluable resource in the Rio Grande Valley and we are happy to support their continued efforts to improve community health.”

The School of Medicine has formed a partnership with the Hidalgo County Health Department to operate the John Austin Peña Memorial Center in Edinburg, which provides integrated care to adolescents 12-18 years of age who are triply diagnosed with a medical illness, mental illness and an appetite drive disorder, such as substance abuse.

The grant approved for the Interprofessional Community-Based Practice and Education Project will help the School of Medicine to continue its partnerships with various communities throughout the Rio Grande Valley to provide integrated health care services to residents.  UTRGV received last year $150,000 from Methodist Healthcare Ministries for this project.

Methodist Healthcare Ministries also has awarded a total of more than $1.6 million to UTRGV for its “Sí Texas: Social Innovation for a Healthy South Texas” project.

UTRGV President Guy Bailey said UTRGV is grateful for the partnership it has with Methodist Healthcare Ministries in providing healthcare to the community.

“These grants will allow the UTRGV School of Medicine to continue serving members of our community who otherwise might not have access to healthcare,” Bailey said. “It is through contributions like these from Methodist Healthcare Ministries that will enable us to close disparities in healthcare and improve the health and well-being of the people of the Valley.”

The grants began January 1, 2018, and last through December 31, 2018.

About Methodist Healthcare Ministries of South Texas, Inc.

Methodist Healthcare Ministries of South Texas, Inc. is a private, faith-based not-for-profit organization dedicated to creating access to health care for the uninsured through direct services, community partnerships and strategic grant-making in 74 counties across South Texas. The mission of the organization is “Serving Humanity to Honor God” by improving the physical, mental and spiritual health of those least served in the Rio Texas Conference area of The United Methodist Church. The mission also includes Methodist Healthcare Ministries’ one-half ownership of the Methodist Healthcare System, the largest healthcare system in South Texas, which creates a unique avenue to ensure that it continues to be a benefit to the community by providing quality care to all and charitable care when needed. For more information, visit http://www.mhm.org.

About UTRGV

The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (UTRGV) was created by the Texas Legislature in 2013 as the first major public university of the 21st century in Texas. This transformative initiative provided the opportunity to expand educational opportunities in the Rio Grande Valley, including a new School of Medicine, and made it possible for residents of the region to benefit from the Permanent University Fund – a public endowment contributing support to the University of Texas System and other institutions.

UTRGV has campuses and off-campus research and teaching sites throughout the Rio Grande Valley including in Boca Chica Beach, Brownsville (formerly The University of Texas at Brownsville campus), Edinburg (formerly The University of Texas-Pan American campus), Harlingen, McAllen, Port Isabel, Rio Grande City, and South Padre Island. UTRGV, a comprehensive academic institution, enrolled its first class in the fall of 2015, and the School of Medicine welcomed its first class in the summer of 2016.

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Jennifer Berghom contributed to this article. For more information on the Edinburg Economic Development Corporation and the City of Edinburg, please log on to http://edinburgedc.com or to http://www.facebook.com/edinburgedc

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