By: Berenice Garcia - The Monitor
Nearly 10 years ago, three Starr County officials met at a McAllen restaurant to discuss the economic future of their county on the west end of the Rio Grande Valley.
Rose Benavidez, the president of the Starr County Industrial Foundation met with Sam Vale, the president of the Starr-Camargo Bridge Company and then-Rio Grande City Mayor Ruben O. Villarreal that day and talked about how to utilize a large piece of land in Rio Grande City that sits right off U.S. Highway 83, the city’s main artery.
“We had a map of this aerial shot and we started to say, ‘Well, here we could do this, we could do that, but this has to happen and that has to happen,’” Benavidez said of that meeting, “and it was just one of those things that we knew we were going to make it and it was going to get done, it was just that we didn’t know how long it was going to take and we never anticipated it was going to take a decade, almost.”
It was actually about eight to nine years since that meeting, according to Benavidez, that over a dozen Starr County officials marked the beginning of construction of the first phase of the project with a groundbreaking ceremony on Monday.