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Drainage issues discussed during 'State of the Valley'

At the first ever State of the Valley luncheon in Weslaco on Monday, judges from every Valley county spoke about future infrastructure projects in their respective jurisdictions.

At the first ever State of the Valley luncheon in Weslaco on Monday, judges from every Valley county spoke about future infrastructure projects in their respective jurisdictions.

Drainage was the most discussed topic at the luncheon hosted by the Society for Marketing Professional Services.

"It doesn’t help the region if we fix our drainage problems and we dump them into Hidalgo County," said Starr County Judge Eloy Vera.

Some counties, like Willacy, plan to invest $40 million on a new drainage project in Raymondville.

"We are concentrating on being prepared as the Valley grows north," said Willacy County Judge Aurelio Guerra.

Even in the upper Valley, flash flooding is a concern.

"Any rain that we get, it runs really quick down the hills," Vera said.

Hidalgo County Economic Development Director Bobby Villarreal— who was at the panel on behalf of Hidalgo County Judge Ramón García— added that drainage improvements in north Edinburg and Raymondville would help protect property in the Valley, along with the flow of commerce for imports coming into the rest of the county.

"Because that's literally going to protect $40 billion of property and a million lives in Hidalgo County," Villarreal said.

With the national debate on proposed border wall spending, Cameron County Judge Eddie Treviño prefers money be spent on drainage and infrastructure projects.

"If the federal government were to invest now before the storm, we'd be spending and saving a lot more money after the storm,” Treviño said.

Read related:

1st phase of Raymondville Drain Project to begin within next few weeks, commissioner says

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