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Jonathan Almanza

Courthouse construction set to begin

With construction of the new Hidalgo County Courthouse set to begin in September, the county unveiled plans to accommodate jurors, visitors and staff parking.

Closner Blvd. will be closed to through traffic from E. Cano St. to E. McIntyre St. on September 4 as construction begins on the new Courthouse. The new 7-story, state-of-the-art, safe and secure Courthouse will be constructed in the area just south of the current building, across Closner, and on the majority of the main parking lot. During construction, 300 parking spaces currently used for visitor and juror parking will be lost, with about 115 spots available on the northeast corner of the lot through the end of the year.

To offset the closure of the courthouse parking lot, the county has re-assigned several additional lots surrounding the courthouse square and will be implementing a free shuttle service that will pick up and drop off jurors, the public, and employees.

Jonathan Almanza, with the County Judges Office, presented the county's plan, which was based on a comprehensive utilization study of the exiting county lots that helped identify the lots that were most frequently in use. 

"There will be a permanent closure of Closner Boulevard, the portion in front of the courthouse, and a portion of the main courthouse lot will be permanently closed," said Almanza.  "We want to make it easily accessible for jurors, employees and visitors so we also developed a shuttle system."

The free shuttle will run through designated streets along the perimeter of the courthouse square and will stop at high volume locations along the route.  

"We're working with Valley Metro to provide two air-conditioned, fully ADA compliant trolleys," said Almanza. "There's a federal grant that will take care of 80 percent of the purchase and 50 percent of maintenance that will run through the duration of the construction of the new courthouse."

The county's Public Affairs office will help publicize the changes and any updates via the county’s website, social media, parking lot and street signage, news releases, QR code, radio and television interviews, and videos. In addition, the District Clerk will include the parking and shuttle map and information in juror notices beginning in August. 

A special page on the county's website will launch this weekend, to coincide with a wrap-around ad in Sunday's Monitor.

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Senator
Sen. Juan "Chuy" Hinojosa admires his portrait on the Wall of County Judges.

Senator Juan "Chuy" Hinojosa recognized on the Wall of County Judges


Senator Juan "Chuy" Hinojosa was recognized by Commissioners Court for his service as Interim County Judge during the summer of 1995.

His portrait was revealed on the Wall of County Judges during today's meeting.  

Hinojosa went down memory lane, recounting the time when he was first sworn in as County Judge and expressed his honor in serving the county.

"Even if for a short while, it was amazing to be part of the great history of our county," said Hinojosa. "I'm proud to share space with the county's Wall of Judges."

Hinojosa was sworn in on July 27, 1995 but soon resigned due to a conflict. Since 1886, there have been 31 individuals who have served as Hidalgo County Judge.

"This honor is long overdue," said Hidalgo County Judge Ramon Garcia. "Thank you for your service as a State Representative, as a State Senator, and as a County Judge."

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Disaster relief
L-R: Philip Hammer with FEMA,  Linley Boone-Almaguer with Texas Rio Grande Legal Aid, Commissioners Court, Corey Williams with the SBA, and Donato Medina with Pct. 4 after announcing Town Hall at Pct. 4 this Friday.
FEMA

Pct. 4 to host public meeting for disaster relief victims


Hidalgo County Precinct 4 invited the public to their upcoming disaster relief meeting.  Residents will be able to talk to experts from FEMA, SBA and local organizations about applying for disaster recovery assistance from the June rain event.

"We're excited to partner with Pct. 4 Commissioner Joseph Palacios on this endeavor, and would like to thank the county for setting this up," said FEMA representative Philip Hammer.  "We all play a part in assisting victims after a disaster, and try to be a one-stop-shop where people can get the help they need."

Also in attendance were Corey Williams with the U.S. Small Business Administration and Linley Boone-Almaguer with Texas Rio Grande Legal Aid.

The meeting will be held at 10 a.m. Friday at 230 86th St. in Edinburg. For more information call (956) 383-3112.

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Budget

Budget workshop provides overview


The county held its first 2019 Budget Workshop following Commissioners Court. Budget Officer Sergio Cruz presented the court with an overview to set the stage for the budget process.

Development criteria for the 2019 Budget includes, but is not limited to, maintaining the current operating budget, terminating grant funded positions when grants expire, and adding no new projects unless funding is coming from new sources of revenue and 100 percent of the cost is identified.

A calendar consisting of presentations, hearings, and deliberations that will lead to the county's adopted budget on Sept. 25 is available on the county's website. Click here to view the 2019 Budget Process Calendar.

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save the date

Area Health Education Center to open in San Carlos


In an effort to improve the quality of life of Precinct 4 residents, Commissioner Joseph Palacios, along with the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, presented an item for approval to establish an Area Health Education Center clinic in the San Carlos Community Resource Center.

The facility will provide the delivery of a variety of services to help improve the self-sufficiency, health, safety and welfare of the residents of San Carlos. These services will include health promotion, education, recreation, disease prevention, community development, clinical services, telemedicine services, and other service programs.

“This is a moment we have been waiting for, to finally have this agreement in place,” said Palacios. “San Carlos has received and been looked at for infrastructure improvements, but not anything like this and it is an honor to finally have these services available.”

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AHEC
L-R: Dr. Shawn Saladin, AHEC Associate Director; Lydia Maldonado, President of the San Carlos AHEC; Alicia Rodriguez, San Carlos CRC Director; Commissioners Joseph Palacios, Pct. 4, and Joe M. Flores, Pct. 3, County Judge Ramon Garcia, Commissioners Eduardo "Eddie" Cantu, Pct. 2 and David L. Fuentes, Pct. 1; Dr. Linda Nelson; Hidalgo County Health and Human Services Director Eddie Olivarez; and Dr. John P. Ronnau, UTRGV.

Did you miss today's meeting? Watch it at 9 p.m. Thursday on KMBH Ch. 10 or on the county's YouTube Channel!


If you missetoday's meeting, you can view it on our county website or YouTube Channel by clicking hereYou can also watch today's Commissioners Court  and Drainage District meetings on KMBH TV, cable channel 10, on Thursday at 9 p.m. Or watch it on Friday morning at 9 a.m. on your local school district channel 17.

The next regular meeting of Commissioners Court  will be on Tuesday, August 14, 2018. 
The Drainage District Board of Directors meets at 9 a.m. followed by Commissioners Court  at 9:30 a.m.

Meetings are held in the Commissioners Courtroom, located on the first floor of the Courthouse Annex III at 100 E. Cano St. in Edinburg.  

View meetings and find other news and events videos on our
Hidalgo County YouTube Channel.
 
To view a copy of the agenda and related backup documentation for this meeting, visit the county website at www.hidalgocounty.us
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