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Monday, May 20, 2024
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Pharr Texas: A City of Progress and Innovation – Mayor’s 2024 State of the City Address Highlights

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Mayor Dr. Ambrosio Hernandez. Photo by Roberto Hugo González
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By Roberto Hugo González

In the Rio Grande Valley, Pharr, Texas, stands as an example of progress, innovation, and community spirit. In his 2024 State of the City Address, Mayor Dr. Ambrosio Hernandez eloquently laid out the city’s accomplishments, plans, and continued commitment to its residents. The address, immersed in gratitude and vision, highlighted Pharr’s advances under his leadership.

Mayor Dr. Ambrosio Hernandez and his wife Cristina. Photo by Roberto Hugo González

Gratitude and Community Support:

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The mayor began his address by extending heartfelt thanks to his colleagues, family, and the event’s sponsors. He emphasized the city’s reliance on sponsor funding, with excess proceeds channeling into local community organizations. This approach underpins Pharr’s dedication to nurturing and supporting its community fabric.

Review of 2023: A Phenomenal Year:

Reflecting on the past year, Mayor Hernandez described 2023 as a landmark year for Pharr. He underscored the city’s achievements in enhancing the quality of life for its families. The address painted a picture of a city thriving in the present and laying a strong foundation for the future.

Pharr City Council. Image Courtesy of the City of Pharr

Long-term Projects and Innovative Thinking:

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Most of the address discussed the city’s long-term, multi-year projects. These include substantial transportation initiatives, like securing over $700 million in funding for infrastructure improvements. 

The mayor expressed pride in Pharr’s ability to think outside the box and its agility in achieving these milestones.

Image Courtesy of the City of Pharr

Transportation and Infrastructure:

Mayor Hernandez spotlighted key projects such as the I-69 expansion and the International Bridge Trade Corridor. These projects alleviate local traffic congestion and play a crucial role in boosting the regional economy, particularly in the jurisdictions of transportation trade and e-commerce.

Image Courtesy of the City of Pharr

Pharr International Bridge Expansion:

A highlight of the address was the expansion of the Pharr International Bridge. This project solidifies Pharr’s position as a crucial player in international trade, particularly in produce crossings from Mexico, thereby impacting the economies of Canada, the United States, and Mexico.

Digital Inclusion with PHARR Connect:

In response to the pandemic-induced emphasis on reliable internet service; the city launched PHARR Connect. This innovative broadband internet service has been recognized nationally and is a model for delivering internet access to underprivileged communities.

Image Courtesy of the City of Pharr

Public Health and Safety Initiatives:

Mayor Dr. Hernandez discussed the creation of PHARR EMS to improve emergency medical services in Pharr. Additionally, he touched on the city’s efforts in drainage infrastructure, highlighting nearly $40 million in funding secured for various projects to safeguard against flooding.

Cultivating Excellence:

Pharr’s journey towards organizational excellence was a key theme. The mayor detailed the city’s efforts to align with the Malcolm Baldridge National Quality Award standards, emphasizing a culture of continuous improvement.

Community Engagement and Recognition:

The address also celebrated community engagement, with the mayor mentioning various programs targeting different life stages, from youth to the elderly. He also acknowledged individuals and departments making significant contributions to the city.

Legacy and Impact:

Mayor Dr. Hernandez concluded with a reflective message, asking everyone to consider their impact and the legacy they will leave behind. He emphasized the collective responsibility to improve the community and make a lasting difference.

The 2024 State of the City Address by Mayor Dr. Ambrosio Hernandez was a report on Pharr’s achievements and proof of its resilient spirit and forward-thinking leadership. The address painted a picture of a city deeply committed to its residents, constantly striving for excellence, and setting an example for communities everywhere.

Key Takeaways:

1. Acknowledgments and Sponsorship: Mayor Hernandez expresses gratitude to his family, colleagues, and sponsors, emphasizing the event’s funding entirely through sponsors, with excess proceeds going to local community organizations.

2. 2023 Achievements and 2024 Outlook: The Mayor highlights the city’s accomplishments in 2023 and sets a positive tone for 2024, focusing on the impact of their efforts on future generations.

3. Long-term Infrastructure Projects: There’s a focus on multi-year projects improving quality of life, such as securing over $700 million for transportation, creating RGV MPO, and the I-69 expansion. He emphasizes the city’s innovative approach to completing these projects efficiently.

4. International Trade and Connectivity: The PHARR International Bridge expansion is a highlight, signifying its importance in producing trade and international connectivity. This project and other transportation initiatives like the IBTC and State Highway SH365 demonstrate the city’s strategic role in regional development.

5. Digital Inclusion and Innovation: The Mayor proudly mentions the PHARR Connect program, a city-led broadband internet service initiative recognized nationally and globally. This project aims to bridge the digital divide and has achieved significant milestones.

7. Public Health and Safety Initiatives: The city’s commitment to public health and safety is evident through various projects, such as the creation of a public health department, the implementation of PHARR EMS for improved emergency services, and proactive measures in drainage infrastructure to prevent flooding.

8. Cultural and Community Focus: Mayor Hernandez highlights the city’s commitment to fostering a vibrant community through festivals, events, and partnerships with local schools and organizations. These efforts aim to enrich the lives of residents across all age groups.

9. Economic Development and Business Support: The city’s efforts to support small businesses, attract new investments, and promote job growth are underscored. Examples of this commitment are initiatives like the small business grant program and industrial investment tours.

10. Recognition of Community Contributors: The Mayor acknowledges individuals and departments making significant contributions to the city, such as the owner of Junior Supermarket for community service and the Office of Strategic Excellence for its role in the city’s achievements.

Reflective Conclusion: Mayor Hernandez concludes with a thoughtful message, urging everyone to consider their impact and legacy, emphasizing the importance of making a positive difference in the community.

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