By: Otila Gonzalez
Mr. John N. Bertsch, CFP, Chairman of the Ports-to-Plains Alliance reports on the accomplishments of the Ports-to-Plains Alliance as including a quarter of a billion dollars in the 22 Texas projects on the corridor either completed in 2013, under construction, or set for construction to begin 2014. Mexico has taken steps to initiate a $2.28 billion dollar Mazatlán-Durango highway project to provide a gateway from the Pacific Coast to connect with the Ports-to-Plains Corridor.
The 2013 construction projects on the Ports-to-Plains Alliance Corridor include one project in South Dakota, two projects in Nebraska, ten projects in North Dakota, and twenty-two projects in Texas. The 22 Texas projects represent projects that extend from the Texas Panhandle all the way to Webb County and beyond. The report also lists the feasibility studies launched in Mexico and the U.S. for new bridges at Acuña/Del Rio as part of the expansion activities
With the federal transportation funding bill expiring on September 30 of this year, the PTP Alliance is working to ensure that the new transportation bill adequately funds the infrastructure needed for the Ports-to-Plains Corridor.
Local members of the Ports-to-Plains Alliance include the City of Del Rio, Val Verde County, Del Rio Area Development Foundation, Del Rio Chamber of Commerce, and our own Del Rio Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. Del Rio is scheduled to host the Annual Ports-to-Plains Alliance Conference in October 2014.
BY Carmen Gutierrez, DRHCC Chair
First on the agenda was to recognize a dedicated and community minded young professional.
Ms. Dora Alcala, DRHCC’s 2013 December Gala Business Awards Chair presented Ms. Elena Garcia, Walmart Store Director, with the prestigious 2013 Businesswoman of the Year award. Ms. Garcia was unable to attend the December Gala and DRHCC took this opportunity to publicly recognize Ms. Garcia’s contributions to the community and to her business, Walmart of Del Rio. Developing Del Rio’s economic opportunities requires business friendly professionals with a plan.
The City of Del Rio hosted the January DRHCC Membership Meeting to introduce the new Development Services Team.
Mark “Robe” Roberson, the City of Del Rio’s new Chief Building Official introduced staff and changes to the Buildings Inspection office. He noted an increased effort and willingness in working closely with contractors and developers and citizen participation by meeting in a round table discussion every third Thursday of the month.
Roberson presented a power point illustrating various construction projects and reported that much of the growth in the community is sometimes not visible, as it is not on the main thoroughfares, but in residential properties and utility construction. He noted, total fees collected for commercial, residential, and utility construction of $24,651,233.17.
Between January 1 and December 31, 2013, a total 984 building permits were issued. New business occupancy certificates totaled 63 for the same period. Most importantly, Roberson stated that he is willing and available to listen to any concerns but his focus is to resolve issues. Contact Roberson at City Annex 114 W. Martin or call 830.774-8601. The January meeting also welcomed new DRHCC member Orlando and Daniel Fuentes. Located at Texas Secured Storage features on site management as well as security features and paved access. Available now for leasing, an official ribbon cutting will be held in the near future.
My name is Michelle L. Guajardo, and I am honored to be the new Vice Chair of Cultural Events for the DRHCC.
I am a proprietor of Trinity Mortuary and a longtime educator. It is my goal to showcase the cultural diversity of our beautiful city throughout the year.
Here’s a little tidbit of New Year’s culture. Three Kings Day is an important holiday for Latin Americans.
In addition to the gift giving aspect of the day, there is culinary treat known as “Rosca de Reyes” (King’s Cake). This holiday dessert offers much in the way of symbolism, a round-shaped cake signifies the King’s crown. The sweet bread holds a special surprise, a small plastic figurine representing the baby Jesus. Whoever finds this token is obligated to host a party for the occasion for “Dia de la Calendaria” (Candlemas Day), which occurs each year on February 2.