July 7, 2012
Two ‘Welcome’ signs scheduled for construction
By MANUEL LARA
A partnership forged between the City of San Benito and the Texas Department of Transportation will soon result in the placement of two new “Welcome” signs greeting motorists as they approach our city limits.
The long-stalled project was reactivated recently as Assistant City Manager Hector Jalomo and I dusted-off old plans for the project that they designed several years ago, and requested a meeting to discuss moving it forward.
After meeting with Mario Jorge, Pharr district engineer, and Steve Walker, landscape architect for TxDOT this week, we were able to come to a mutual agreement on the location and type of the lighted monument-styled signs to install.
One sign will be placed at the intersection of North State Hwy. 345 and Mae Drive, and the second near the intersection of Stenger and Business 77. The poured-in-place concrete signs with a brick façade will be 20-feet wide and seven-feet high at its center point, featuring the City of San Benito logo.
I view this partnership as cause for celebration, as community leaders and citizens alike have long questioned why, if other communities had welcome signs, we did not. From their comments I have heard over the past three years of my service here, this has been one of the most sought-after priorities in this community.
In addition to providing hospitality in welcoming motorists to the Resaca City, the monument signs, and accompanying landscaping, will serve as a beautifying feature in our community. My philosophy holds that beauty inspires pride and civic ownership. Making our citizens proud of their community can cause greater investment in their own homes and businesses. That is a win-win situation for all concerned!
Our City Commission on April 17 approved $34,998 for the construction project, with funding to come from our Economic Development Corporation, which receives a percentage of local sales tax revenue. The construction costs will not come from our taxpayers, but from the monies raised through the sales of products from the grocery store to the dry cleaners and shared by the State and the City.
The project will be completed in three stages: Construction, Landscaping and Lighting. Work is scheduled to commence this month under a contract with Garco Construction Co. Project completion time is estimated at about a month.
I am told that this project was proposed some 10 years ago, but always failed to launch. What I find significant in this entire process is the reestablishment of a more productive working relationship with our area TxDOT officials. In fact, we requested and received support for a proposal to further partner with TxDOT in mowing rights-of-ways along the expressway and highways. We are asking for permits to supplement their efforts by having our crews pitch-in and cut the tall grass and weeds to create a cleaner, more beautiful environment for our city.
Partnerships are vital in working toward accomplishments, and we are grateful to TxDOT for their actions this week in helping us to become a cleaner, prouder and more beautiful community.