The City of Elsa’s Pacific Trails Park Project held its groundbreaking ceremonies with news of a new development strategy. The new development will be undertaken at an abandoned railroad property located between VFW St. and Arcadio Padilla St. that the city acquired three years ago. The project will include a 1.5 mile long multi-surface exercise and bike trails system, a complete recreational area that will have beach volleyball courts, a water splashpad, a complete array of playscapes, family outdoor recreational facilities and an eateries/food court area. Funding for the project has come from numerous sources to include local contributions, two $500,000 grants from the Valley Baptist Legacy Foundation and the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, as well as another $150,000 in-kind labor and machinery use contribution from Hidalgo County Commissioner David Fuentes.
The project was originally slated to be developed in the conventional bid/contract basis, but the onset of the coronavirus pandemic and its overwhelming negative effect on local businesses and the unemployment rate convinced local officials that this project could be utilized to counter that effect. So a decision was made to create a local economic stimulus program by having a local labor force to undertake as much of the construction requirements as possible.
“This project has been long-in-coming and has taken a major effort to secure the funding for it. But, unfortunately, the pandemic has created a need to revitalize our local economy and creating employment opportunities for local residents would be a major contributor towards that effort. Bringing back the american economy will only happen with everyone doing their part…and this is the City of Elsa’s part in that effort,” stated Mayor Al Perez.
The city plans to hire and train numerus local residents in the construction trades during the pandemic to prepare them for opportunities that will come when the local and national economy rebounds in the future. The recirculation of hundreds of thousands of dollars in the local economy will have a tremendous impact in the Delta area. The overall benefits of undertaking this project in this manner will have immediate and long term advantages. The local economy will have immediate positive impact and the community will still get a beautiful and health conscious facility for generations to come.
The city is continuing its fundraising efforts for the project through the office of U.S. Congressman Vicente Gonzalez to supplement existing construction plans and to add additional features to the overall scheme. Construction start-up is anticipated to begin in May of 2021.