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Edinburg EDC: Local government, led by the Mayor and City Council, meets highest standards in U.S. on how Edinburg handles its finances

Featured, from left: Elías Longoria, Jr., Secretary/Treasurer, Edinburg Economic Development Corporation; Rep. Terry Canales, D-Edinburg; Sen. Juan “Chuy” Hinojosa, D-McAllen; and Edinburg Mayor Richard García, on Friday, March 17, 2017, during groundbreaking ceremonies for the Department of Public Safety Mega Driver License Center in north Edinburg. The multi-million dollar, 25,000 square foot facility, located at the corner of Davis Road and I69C, is one of the many examples of economic growth in the city. The public safety complex, which will bring almost 70 jobs, also represents the state government’s confidence in locating in Edinburg, in part because the city excels in promoting and protecting public funds at all levels.

Photograph By ALEX RÍOS

Edinburg’s municipal government, led by the Mayor and Edinburg City Council, meets the highest standards for U.S., state and local governments on how it handles its financial activities, according to a state-required annual audit that was presented during a public meeting at Edinburg City Hall on Tuesday, March 28, 2017, the Edinburg Economic Development Corporation has announced. The Edinburg EDC, whose Executive Director is Agustín García, Jr., 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. As part of its mission to help create jobs, the Edinburg EDC uses key information from independent, reliable, and authoritative sources, such as the Comprehensive Annual Financial Report, released on Tuesday, March 28, 2017, to inform residents, and to maintain and increase confidence in the ethical practices of its city government, promote the expansion of existing businesses, and recruit new businesses to the community. At that meeting, held in the Council Chamber, Carr, Riggs & Ingram, LLC delivered an Unmodified Opinion, the best rating possible, following its examination of three aspects of the city’s financial operations: (1) internal controls; (2) statements, records, and accounting transactions; and (3) compliance with statutory and budgetary requirements. Ruben Moreno, CPA (Certified Public Accountant), Partner with Carr, Riggs and Ingram, LLC , and Aaron Ríos, CPA, Manager with Carr, Riggs and Ingram, LLC, presented the audit to Mayor Pro Tem J.R. Betancourt, himself a CPA, who was representing the mayor and fellow city councilmembers at the public session. The Unmodified Opinion, which covers the 12-month period that ended September 30, 2016, and other financial highlights by Carr, Riggs & Ingram, LLC send out a favorable message, locally and beyond, that Edinburg’s economy continues to be strong, and the city is a good place to call home, said Betancourt. Key financial statements by the city directly reflected positive growth in Edinburg’s economy that came without any increase in the city’s property tax rate or the local sales tax rate, Betancourt noted. “One of the great things about the audit is that is shows how well the city is doing, that we have a very fiscally strong budget, we have reserves in the bank to provide public services through emergencies,” the mayor pro tem continued. “The economy is doing well here and in the Valley. Edinburg has not been so fiscally strong in the last 10 to 15 years.”

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Legislative and business plans set for review beginning at noon on Tuesday, January 24 by Edinburg Economic Development Corporation

Featured: Sen. Juan “Chuy” Hinojosa, D-McAllen, addresses fellow Coastal Bend members of the Texas Senate and House of Representatives, as well as university and community leaders, during an Appreciation Reception hosted for them by the Texas A&M System on Tuesday, October 15, 2016 at Texas A&M University Corpus Christi. On Thursday, January 19, 2017, Lt. Governor Dan Patrick announced Senate committee assignments for the 85th Legislative Session. Hinojosa will serve as Vice Chair of the Senate Finance Committee and as a member on the Senate Transportation Committee. He will continue his appointments to the Senate Committees on Natural Resources and Economic Development, and Agriculture, Water and Rural Affairs. He also continues to serve on the Sunset Advisory Commission. The Edinburg Mayor, Edinburg City Council, and Edinburg Economic Development Corporation Board of Directors lobby the Texas Legislature and Congress on issues that benefit and protect Edinburg citizens.

Photograph Courtesy TEXAS A&M CORPUS CHRISTI

As the Texas Legislature, Congress and President Trump begin the early days of their respective sessions and administration, the Board of Directors of the Edinburg Economic Development Corporation will meet at noon on Tuesday, January 24, 2017 to continue building their efforts to promote the Edinburg Mayor’s and Edinburg City Council’s priorities at the state and federal levels. As part of their agenda for the meeting, which will be held in the Council Chamber of Edinburg City Hall, Edinburg EDC board members also will have about a dozen items to review, including two matters set for possible action that deal with state and federal lawmakers. In open session, the Edinburg EDC Board of Directors are scheduled to discuss and consider authorizing the executive director to renew the lease agreement with Rep. Terry Canales, D-Edinburg, who through the Texas House of Representatives, maintains his House District 40 office in the city’s downtown. In executive session, where under state law the EEDC Board of Directors and its staff meet are allowed to meet behind closed doors in a conference room located behind the Council Chamber, officials will deliberate authorizing the executive director to enter into an interlocal agreement with the City of Edinburg regarding legislative services conducted by Holland & Knight of Washington, D.C. The Edinburg EDC, whose Executive Director is Agustín García, Jr., 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, Jr. are not related.

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Edinburg sets $30 million contribution limit to new Hidalgo County Courthouse, but ensures new justice center will remain in the city’s downtown

Featured, from left: Councilmember David Torres; Councilmember Richard Molina; Precinct 4 Hidalgo County Commissioner Joseph Palacios; Mayor Richard García; Precinct 1 Hidalgo County Commissioner A.C. Cuellar, Jr.; Councilmember Homer Jasso, Jr.; Mayor Pro Tem J.R. Betancourt; and Precinct 3 Hidalgo County Commissioner Joe Flores. The elected leaders posed for a portrait on Monday, December 12, 2016 in the Council Chamber at Edinburg City Hall following approving an agreement between the City of Edinburg and Hidalgo County on a Memorandum of Understanding where Edinburg pledged to provide a maximum of $30 million, or 20 percent of the cost, whichever is less, towards the construction of a planned $150 million Hidalgo County Courthouse in downtown Edinburg, next to the existing courthouse.

Photograph By MARK MONTEMAYOR

As the calendar year approached its final weeks, a major step was taken by the City of Edinburg to help guarantee that a proposed $150 million Hidalgo County Courthouse will be built downtown, next to the existing courthouse, the Edinburg Economic Development Corporation has announced. The planned justice center will dramatically increase far-reaching economic growth and improve the quality-of-life for that region of the city, Edinburg and Hidalgo County elected leaders predict. With a unanimous vote by both the Edinburg City Council and the Hidalgo County Commissioners Court, the two governing entities on Monday, December 12, 2016 approved a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), which memorialized the commitments made by the County of Hidalgo and the City of Edinburg for the new Hidalgo County Courthouse to remain in the historic heart of the city. According to U.S. legal.com, a memorandum of understanding (MOU) may be used as a confirmation of agreed upon terms when an oral agreement has not been reduced to a formal contract. It may also be a contract used to set forth the basic principles and guidelines under which the parties will work together to accomplish their goals. “We finally have come to an agreement with Hidalgo County to build a new courthouse. It has been long in the process,” Mayor Richard García told journalists following the approval of the MOU. “As one of our councilmembers mentioned during our meeting earlier today, we started on this in 2013. Here we are, 2017 is just a few days away, and we have finally ironed out a lot of the wrinkles.” In the coming months, city and county leaders plan to finalize the language and goals of the MOU into a more formal, legally-binding document, known as an interlocal agreement. In general, an interlocal agreement is a written contract between local government agencies such as a city, a county, a school board or a constitutional office. Any time a public service involves the joint operations and budgets of two or more local government agencies, an interlocal agreement must be drawn up and approved by all sides, with each government’s governing body – a school board, a city council, a county commission – enacting the agreement by vote. Prior to the approval of the MOU, key issues included making sure Edinburg’s financial commitment was acceptable to the county, and that Edinburg would not have to pay more than $30 million towards construction of the new courthouse, which could cost $150 million to build. The city’s contribution could be less than $30 million, if the price tag for the new courthouse comes in lower than $150 million. In that case, the City of Edinburg – along with the Edinburg EDC, which will cover half of the city’s contribution for the construction of the proposed new courthouse – would only have to pay 20 percent of the final price, according to the MOU. 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 Rupert and Dr. Peter Dabrowski as Members. Agustín García, Jr. is Executive Director for the Edinburg EDC, which is the jobs-creation arm of the Edinburg Mayor and Edinburg City Council.

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Project Domain, city’s soccer park to be reviewed in open session at City Hall on Tuesday, April 26 during monthly meeting of Board of Directors of the Edinburg Economic Development Corporation

Photograph Courtesy MARCI CALTABIANO

About 300 11th-grade high school students and their fathers and/or mentors from throughout South Texas participated in the Together in Educational Success (TIES) conference at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley in early April. The Edinburg Economic Development Corporation, along with the City of Edinburg, promote the best interests of UTRGV and the UTRGV School of Medicine though its extensive legislative lobbying efforts before the UT System Board of Regents, the Texas Legislature, and Congress.

Photograph Courtesy MARCI CALTABIANO

Possible action on several current and new job creation strategies being considered by the Board of Directors of the Edinburg Economic Development Corporation will take place beginning at noon on Tuesday, April 26, 2016 in the Council Chamber at Edinburg City Hall, the EEDC has announced. The two items scheduled to be deliberated in open session are interlocal agreements with the City of Edinburg regarding Project Domain and the city’s soccer park. In executive session, the following issues will be reviewed: Project Urban; Project Grindstone; the monumentation at the North Industrial Park; Project Square; Project Quest; and a development agreement with VICA Enterprises, L.P.

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