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Edinburg’s retail economy from January through September 2015 is more than 7 percent better than same period in 2014, reports Texas Comptroller

City Councilmember Richard Molina, left, and City Manager Ramiro Garza, Jr.

Featured: City Councilmember Richard Molina, left, and City Manager Ramiro Garza, Jr. review key economic achievements and goals for Edinburg following the State of the City Address, delivered by Mayor Richard García on Wednesday, May 27, 2015 at the Edinburg City Auditorium. In the background are Irma Garza, Director of Public Information for the City of Edinburg, and Edinburg Councilmember David Torres.
Photograph By RONNIE LARRALDE

Edinburg’s retail economy from January through September 2015 is more than seven percent ahead of the same period last year, a figure that is better than the statewide average of all Texas cities, which came in with a 4.1 percent improvement when comparing the same nine-month periods, the Edinburg Economic Development Corporation has announced. The EEDC, of which Agustín García, Jr. is Executive Director, is the jobs-creation arm of the Edinburg Mayor and Edinburg City Council. The EEDC Board of Directors is comprised of Mark Iglesias as President, Harvey Rodríguez as Vice President, Ellie M. Torres as Secretary/Treasurer, and Mayor Richard García and Richard Ruppert as Members. For the month of September 2015, the city’s retail economy registered a 10.98 percent rate of improvement over the same month last year, the EEDC added, according to data released on Wednesday, November 4, 2015 by the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts. Among its many duties, the Texas Comptroller’s office is the state’s chief tax collector, accountant, revenue estimator and treasurer. The 10.98 percent increase over the same month last year was the best showing among the Valley’s larger economies. During the first nine months of 2015, Edinburg’s retail economy produced $18,676,992.00 in local sales taxes, compared with $17,433,497.27 for January through September 2014, resulting in the improvement of 7.13 percent. During September 2015, the city’s retail economy generated $1,864,640.98 in local sales taxes, compared with $1,680,118.10 for September 2014, representing the improvement of almost 11 percent, also according to the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts. The local sales tax is used in Edinburg to help pay for many city services, while the EEDC uses its one-half cent local sales tax to help generate economic development in the city. The amount of local sales taxes collected also helps reflect the strength of an economy, along with construction activities, per capita income, education, historical performances, and related trends. The sales tax, formally known as the State Sales and Use Tax, is imposed on all retail sales, leases and rentals of most goods, as well as taxable services. Texas cities, counties, transit authorities and special purpose districts have the option of imposing an additional local sales tax for a combined total of state and local taxes of 8 1/4% (.0825). In another development that benefits the Edinburg economy – the upcoming Fall 2016 opening of the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley School of Medicine – area leaders on Wednesday, November 4, 2015 announced that the Edinburg-based medical school will join leading medical schools throughout the country in determining best practices for the future of medical education. The School of Medicine has been accepted into the American Medical Association Accelerating Change in Medical Education Consortium and received a three-year, $75,000 grant to implement a program to help its first cohort of students develop strong communication skills. “Acceptance into this prestigious consortium is evidence of the important role the UTRGV School of Medicine will play in promoting change through innovation in medical and health education,” said Dr. Francisco Fernández, inaugural Dean of the School of Medicine. “Drs. Arden Dingle and Valerie Terry have taken a large step forward with this project, which promotes and improves the communicative skills of students showing the usefulness of an early-offered intervention on patient-physician communication within our medical curriculum. We look forward to seeing the results of their work and congratulate them on their participation in the consortium,” he said. The grant project, “Using Technology to Enhance the Pedagogy of Interpersonal Communication in Medicine,” involves having medical students use computer tablets to log patients’ oral histories, record group interactions and document other interpersonal interactions in a variety of activities, including some of the School of Medicine’s interprofessional initiatives.

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Total construction in Edinburg from January through September 2015 breaks $100 million mark, with 257 new homes leading the way

Edinburg Plannning and Zoning Molina

Featured: Edinburg City Councilmember Richard Molina, addressing constituents at the Edinburg City Auditorium on Wednesday, May 27, 2015, also serves on Edinburg’s Planning and Zoning Commission, which reviews and make recommendations to the City Council on rezoning, special use permits, and subdivisions.
Photograph By MARK MONTE MAYOR

Residential subdivisions in Edinburg are experiencing significant growth in 2015, with the construction of 257 new homes leading the way from January through September of this year. In all, construction and related building activities in Edinburg from January through September 2015 total more than $100 million, with building permits for those 257 new single-family residences valued at more than $37.1 million leading the way, the Edinburg Economic Development Corporation has announced. The EEDC, of which Agustín García, Jr. is Executive Director, is the jobs-creation arm of the Edinburg Mayor and Edinburg City Council. The EEDC Board of Directors is comprised of Mark Iglesias as President, Harvey Rodríguez as Vice President, Ellie M. Torres as Secretary/Treasurer, and Mayor Richard García and Richard Ruppert as Members. Richard García and Agustín García, Jr. are not related. From January through September 2015, building permits valued at $100,045,966 were issued by the city, compared with $103,901,996 for the same period in 2014. For the month of September 2015, building permits valued at $14,230,592 were issued, compared with building permits valued at $9,863,971 for September 2014. The top categories in Edinburg from January through September 2015 were: $37,102,917 – Single-Family Residences New Construction; $23,765.605 – Non-Taxable New/Alterations (government, religious, but not including the value of construction activities at The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley or its School of Medicine); $15,875,178 – Commercial New Construction; $13,227,202 – Commercial Alterations; $5,365,356 – Multi-Family Residences New Construction; and $4,709,708 – Residential Alterations. A building permit includes the estimated value of the work, but does not include the costs of the lot, equipment and furnishings. In general, a building permit is legal permission given by the City of Edinburg 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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Edinburg retail economy from January to August 2015 shows almost 7 percent increase over same period in 2014

 Mayor Pro Tem Homer Jasso, Jr.

Featured: Mayor Pro Tem Homer Jasso, Jr., on Wednesday, May 27, 2015, helps set the stage for the State of the City Address by Mayor Richard García, which focused on economic development gains for Edinburg. In the latest showing of the strength of the city’s economy, the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts reported on Tuesday, October 7, 2015 that Edinburg’s retail economy, from January through August 2015, is almost seven percent ahead of last year’s pace.
Photograph By MARK MONTEMAYOR

Edinburg’s retail economy from January through August 2015 is almost seven percent ahead of the same period last year, a figure that is better than the statewide average of all Texas cities, which came in with a 4.3 percent improvement year for the same eight-month period, the Edinburg Economic Development Corporation has announced. The EEDC, of which Agustín García, Jr. is Executive Director, is the jobs-creation arm of the Edinburg Mayor and Edinburg City Council. The EEDC Board of Directors is comprised of Mark Iglesias as President, Harvey Rodríguez as Vice President, Ellie M. Torres as Secretary/Treasurer, and Mayor Richard García and Richard Ruppert as Members. For the month of August 2015, the city’s retail economy registered a 13.89 percent rate of improvement over the same month last year, the EEDC added, according to data released on Tuesday, October 7, by the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts. During the first eight months of 2015, Edinburg’s retail economy produced $16,812,351.02 in local sales taxes, compared with $15,753,379.17 for January through August 2014, representing an improvement of 6.72 percent. In August 2015, the city’s retail economy generated $1,671,788.87 in local sales taxes, compared with $1,467,867.49 for August 2014, representing an improvement of 13.89 percent, also according to the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts. By comparison, the average rate for all cities in Texas dropped .04 percent in August 2015 compared with August 2014. The local sales tax is used in Edinburg to help pay for many city services, while the EEDC uses its one-half cent local sales tax to help generate economic development in the city. The amount of local sales taxes collected also helps reflect the strength of an economy, along with construction activities, per capita income, education, historical performances, and related trends. The sales tax, formally known as the State Sales and Use Tax, is imposed on all retail sales, leases and rentals of most goods, as well as taxable services. Texas cities, counties, transit authorities and special purpose districts have the option of imposing an additional local sales tax for a combined total of state and local taxes of 8 1/4% (.0825).

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Day Surgery at Renaissance opens for business as Edinburg approaches $86 million in construction activities from January through August 2015

Mayor Richard García

Featured, Mayor Richard García, who also serves on the Board of Directors for the Edinburg Economic Development Corporation, on Wednesday, May 13, 2015, signs documents relating to Edinburg municipal business as Myra L. Ayala Garza, City Secretary, reviews his action at the raised platform used for city council, EEDC and Planning and Zoning board meetings. Those public sessions are held in the council chambers at Edinburg City Hall.
Photograph By MARK MONTEMAYOR

With construction and related building activities in Edinburg from January through August 2015 totaling almost $86 million, area leaders on Thursday, September 17, gathered at Doctors Hospital at Renaissance to celebrate the grand opening of the city’s latest architectural showpiece – Day Surgery at Renaissance. Day Surgery at Renaissance, located at 5520 Leonardo Davinci, immediately east of Women’s Hospital at Renaissance, is a 90,000 square foot, two-story outpatient surgical center that features eight operating rooms, 40 pre-operative beds, 40 recovery beds, and 10 endoscopy suites. Day Surgery at Renaissance, based on the building permit issued more than a year earlier, in August 2014, by Edinburg’s Code Enforcement Department, represents an investment of $14 million for its construction. As a result, the value of Day Surgery at Renaissance is not included in the year-t0-date total construction figures of almost $86 million for January through August 2015. Ellie M. Torres, who serves on the Board of Directors of the Edinburg Economic Development Corporation, and who also is a member of the Edinburg school board, was on hand for the 2 p.m. standing-room only event. “This outstanding facility will have significant economic and quality-of-life benefits for our hometown and our neighboring cities,” said Torres. “Along with our other excellent hospitals, physicians, health care professionals, and our University of Texas medical school that will open in the Fall of 2016, Edinburg continues to build on its deserved reputation as a preferred city in which to live, raise a family, work or own a business, and succeed.” The EEDC, of which Agustín García, Jr. is Executive Director, is the jobs-creation arm of the Edinburg Mayor and Edinburg City Council. The EEDC Board of Directors is comprised of Mark Iglesias as President, Harvey Rodríguez as Vice President, Ellie M. Torres as Secretary/Treasurer, and Mayor Richard García and Richard Ruppert as Members. Richard García and Agustín García, Jr. are not related. Mayor Richard García noted that Edinburg is blessed with nationally-recognized hospital systems. “In mid-July, Doctors Hospital at Renaissance and South Texas Health Systems, which includes Edinburg Regional Medical Center and Edinburg Children’s Hospital, were ranked among the top 20 hospital complexes in Texas, according to U.S. News and World Report,” Mayor García said. “Across-the-board, from education to health care, from entertainment to construction, these and other economic development advances continue to lead to new jobs and stronger businesses.” EEDC Board President Iglesias said the city’s construction activities so far this year also reflect strong growth in new homes. “From January through August 2015, Edinburg has seen 223 new single-family homes, valued at more than $31 million, authorized to be built – including 41 homes approved for construction during the month of August alone,” Iglesias reported. “During the same eight months in 2014, there were 199 homes, valued at more than $23.8 million, issued building permits. Those statistics and more reflect the overall strength and consumer confidence that speak volumes about our city’s economy.” EEDC Executive Director Agustín García, Jr. added that Edinburg also benefits from another DHR complex, the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley Family Medical Center, literally located across Owassa Road but in the city limits of McAllen, which was part of the September 17 ribbon-cutting ceremony for Day Surgery at Renaissance. “As a direct result of state legislation passed in 2013, the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley was given the authority and resources to build a full-fledged School of Medicine, with a major presence in Edinburg,” said the EEDC executive director. “But in helping shape the creation of the School of Medicine, the Edinburg mayor, Edinburg City Council, and EEDC Board of Directors always took a regional approach in order for the Valley to stay united and strong in order to make the medical school a reality. “That is what the UTRGV Family Medical Center symbolizes, and Edinburg also benefits as a result.” The Family Medicine Center will serve as a physician training center for family medicine medical residents. That newly-constructed facility will serve as a base for integrated programs of health care and education that are built around a team approach to cover a spectrum of health services, including prevention and treatment.

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Edinburg’s construction activities from January through July 2015 total $78.5 million, ahead of pace over same period in 2014, announces EEDC

Edinburg’s construction activities

Featured, from left: Agustín García, Jr., Executive Director, Edinburg Economic Development Corporation; Councilmember Richard Molina; Mark Iglesias, President, EEDC Board of Directors; and Mayor Richard García, Member, EEDC Board of Directors, in the Edinburg City Council Chambers at Edinburg City Hall on Wednesday, May 13, 2015.
Photograph By MARK MONTEMAYOR

The combined value of permits issued for construction and related building activities in Edinburg from January through July 2015 totaled more than $78 million, compared with almost $74 million during the same period last year, the Edinburg Economic Development Corporation has announced. A building permit includes the estimated value of the work, but does not include the price of the lot. In general, a building permit is legal permission given by the City of Edinburg 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. The EEDC, of which Agustín García, Jr. is Executive Director, is the jobs-creation arm of the Edinburg Mayor and Edinburg City Council. The EEDC Board of Directors is comprised of Mark Iglesias as President, Harvey Rodríguez as Vice President, Ellie M. Torres as Secretary/Treasurer, and Mayor Richard García and Richard Rupert as Members. The latest figures do not include the more than $107 million for new construction projects, approved by the University of Texas System Board of Regents, which are scheduled to begin this year or which have been authorized this year. UT-RGV, formerly known as UT-Pan American, is a state entity, so the city does not issue building permits or include the value of any construction at the university campus in the data put together by Edinburg’s Code Enforcement Department. “On Thursday, May 14, the UT System Board of Regents gave final permission for the release of funding and of design development for a $70 million, 115,000-square-foot addition to the Science Building at UT-RGV in Edinburg, and that facility, which will be the largest on campus, is set to begin construction this December,” said Mayor García. “A few weeks ago, on Wednesday, August 19, the UT System Board of Regents agreed to begin the process that will lead to the construction of a $37.6 million, 77,000-square-foot Interdisciplinary Engineering and Academic Studies Building for the Edinburg campus.” In addition, the UT System Board of Regents on August 19 gave the go-ahead for UT System officials to negotiate the purchase of 53 acres, located at the southeast quadrant of North Sugar Road and West Chapin Street in Edinburg, from Norquest Family Holdings, Ltd., for “future campus expansion”, the mayor noted. EEDC Board President Iglesias said the Edinburg City Council and the EEDC Board of Directors continue to significantly influence the growth of the local economy with their legislative and public policy strategies, such as lobbying the UT System Board of Regents and the Texas Legislature for more state resources for UT-RGV and the UT-RGV School of Medicine in Edinburg. “The EEDC Board of Directors, the Mayor and City Council work as partners, not only with each other, but with our legislative delegations in Austin and Washington, D.C., with our business and community leaders in our city, and especially with our citizens to set high goals and surpass them,” said Iglesias. “With more economic prosperity and investments, such as these incredible advances in higher education, we will continue to see key growth in construction of homes and businesses in Edinburg.” EEDC Executive Director Agustín García, Jr. (no relation to the mayor), said part of Edinburg’s successes is the determination of the elected and appointed leadership in the community to shape state and national policies, on their own or with other regional and statewide groups, for the benefit of the local economy. “Border security, health care, immigration, job creation, they are all important for the city’s prosperity and quality-of-life, and wherever the decisions on such issues are being made that affect us, from the county courthouse to the state and U.S. capitols, we make sure that we are part of the solution,” said the EEDC Executive Director. “That vision and direction come from the EEDC Board of Directors, the Mayor and the Edinburg City Council, who consult with our citizens, and we see the fruits of their labor throughout Edinburg.” From January through July 2015, building permits valued at $78,554,684 were issued by the city, compared with $73,830,585 for the same period in 2014. The top categories in Edinburg from January to July 2015 were: $25,396,282 – Single-Family Residences New Construction; $22,062,622 – Non-Taxable New Alterations (government, religious, but not including UT-RGV) $12,258,728 – Commercial New Construction; $10,011,285 – Commercial Alterations; $4,909,356 – Multi-Family Residences New Construction; and $3,916,411 – Residential Alterations.

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