By DAVID A. DÍAZ
Texas Border Business
A plan by DHR Health for a $76.8 million expansion in Edinburg, which would create and retain 500 employees, has been praised by the Edinburg Economic Development Corporation (EEDC) Board of Directors, and now goes before the Edinburg City Council on Tuesday, November 17, 2020, to inform the public and secure state legislative support.
As part of its expansion proposal – which would not cost the city any money – DHR Health is asking the five-member city council, which includes the mayor, for approval of a resolution for designating Doctors Hospital at Renaissance, LTD, as an enterprise project under the Texas Enterprise Zone Act.
The growth by the hospital system is part of the city council’s regular meeting, which begins at 6 p.m. in the Council Chambers at Edinburg City Hall, located at 415 West University Drive.
However, due to the COVID-19 public health emergency, the city will observe all restrictions in place regarding room capacity and crowd sizes for its upcoming public session.
Sen. Juan “Chuy” Hinojosa, D-McAllen, when he was a state representative, and Sen. Hector Uribe, D-Brownsville, in 1983 introduced and passed the state legislation that created the Texas Enterprise Zone Act.
It is the purpose of the Texas Enterprise Zone Act to establish a process that clearly identifies distressed areas and provides incentives by both local and state government to induce private investment in those areas by the provision of tax incentives and retention of high-quality job.
“Doctors Hospital at Renaissance (DHR) has requested an Enterprise Project nomination from the City of Edinburg,” Blanca Davila, Director, Edinburg Economic Development Department, stated in her executive summary, published in the city council’s agenda packet, which is posted online. “This designation would make DHR eligible to receive state sales and use tax refunds on qualified expenditures based on DHR’s planned capital investment and job creation and retention.”
This economic development tool allows local communities to partner with the state of Texas to encourage job creation and capital investment in economically distressed areas. Local communities can nominate a new or expanding business as an “enterprise project”. Approved projects are eligible to apply for state sales and use tax refunds on qualified expenditures. The level and amount of refund depends on the capital investment and jobs created at the qualified business site.
“The EDC Board approved a letter of support for enterprise project nomination for DHR at its meeting on (Tuesday), October 27, 2020, by a vote of 6-0,” Davila recalled. “Staff recommends approval designation. The city and EDC are working with the Office of the Governor Economic Development and DHR (Health) to ensure all requirement are met.”
The Edinburg City Council has the final say on the recommendations of the Edinburg EDC Board of Directors, each who are appointed by majority vote of the five-member city council.
In alphabetical order, with their emails and business affiliations included, are the Edinburg EDC Board of Directors:
• Daniel Antonio Díaz
South Texas Health Systems, McAllen
• Roland Gómez
City of Pharr
• Verónica Gonzáles
The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley
• Hiren Govind
Qube Hotel Group
• Sabrina Walker Hernández
Supporting World Hope
• Raúl Reséndez
Raul Reséndez State Farm Insurance
• Aaron (Ronny) Rivera
Rivera Funeral Home
Doctors Hospital at Renaissance, Ltd (“DHR”) and its general partner, RGV Med, Inc. (“RGV Med”) own and operate a 519 licensed bed general acute care hospital with over 60 specialties and subspecialties located at 5501 South McColl in Edinburg. The facility is one of the largest physician-owned facilities in the United States that began as an ambulatory surgery center in 1997.
Anchored in southwest Edinburg, with a growing presence in neighboring McAllen, DHR Health offers some of the most comprehensive medical care on the U.S. southern border, with more than 1,400 nurses and 600+ physicians providing care in 70+ specialties and sub-specialties.
DHR Health is the flagship teaching hospital for the UTRGV School of Medicine and encompasses a general acute hospital with the only dedicated women’s hospital south of San Antonio, a rehabilitation hospital, a behavioral hospital, more than 70 clinics Valley-wide, advanced cancer services, the only transplant program in the Rio Grande Valley – and the only functioning 24/7 Level 1 Trauma Center south of San Antonio. DHR Health is headquartered on a 130-acre site, with most of the facilities in southwest Edinburg but with a growing South Campus immediately across Owassa Road in northwest McAllen.