By MARTHA McCLAIN
Special to the PRESS
Laguna Vista’s elected officials are in support of discussions that potentially could form one Valley-wide Metropolitan Planning Organization, which would give the Town a voice in its future development and potential funding to support needed infrastructure projects.
Cameron County Commissioner David Garza told the Town Council that combining existing MPOs in the Rio Grande Valley would facilitate collaboration of governments, interested parties and residents in the planning process.
“MPO funds could go to widening FM 510, create bike lanes, enhance pedestrian safety, but now we don’t have any input into the process,” City Manager Rolando Vela said.
“Currently 80 percent of discretionary state funding goes to Houston, Dallas, Fort Worth and San Antonio,” Garza said. “It is unfortunate that Port Isabel, South Padre Island and Laguna Vista can’t access these funds. By joining together, we could create the fifth largest MPO in Texas, which would give us more political clout. It would give us a governance model and economic mode to decide how to grow,” he said. “And,” he said, “It won’t cost the Town any money.”
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