The Brownsville Chamber of Commerce hosts its “Friday With the City” and features Brownsville City Mayor, John Cowen, Jr. The community presentation, hosted at the Brownsville Event Center on Friday, June 30, 2023, featured a number of key initiatives driving growth and development in Brownsville.
One of the major topics Mayor Cowen discussed was the City's "Smart City" initiative in partnership with Lit Communities. This initiative aims to develop a high-speed fiber network to provide reliable internet service for Brownsville residents. The project will involve the creation of a fiber optic network, ensuring that families and businesses in the community have access to fast and dependable internet. The payment for the service will be based on a 3-tier purchase plan, offering flexibility to users.
The City's strategic financial planning was emphasized by Mayor Cowen, noting that property taxes have been reduced for three consecutive years along with a reduction in the tax rate. The City has experienced significant residential and commercial building permit growth, indicating a thriving economy. The industrial parks have seen rapid lot sales, and more businesses are interested in setting up Brownsville operations.
Mayor Cowen discussed the importance of capital improvement projects in enhancing and maintaining infrastructure and facilities for the City's long-term growth and development. These projects are instrumental in ensuring that Brownsville continues to progress and meet the needs of its residents.
The Mayor featured the City’s partnership with Accela Inc., a cloud-based software solutions provider for government entities, which has been implemented at the City of Brownsville. Accela, the on-line service system, aims to make it easier for businesses and residents to conduct their affairs with the City by providing all services conveniently on-line. These services include: scheduling inspections, accessing property information, and finding licensed professionals.
Mayor Cowen featured the presence of Rio Grande LNG and its many benefits to Brownsville. He said the presence of LNG brings significant benefits in terms in terms of job creation, economic growth, education support, and environmental protection.
Another significant development Cowen mentioned is the addition of a new commercial airline route from its current airline partner, Avelo Airlines. Avelo is now incorporating non-stop flights from Brownsville South Padre Island International Airport to Las Vegas. Flights may now booked on-line at www.AveloAir.com and the airline will inaugurate its services to Las Vegas starting on September 8th. The airline is already offering non-direct flights from Brownsville to Los Angeles and from Brownsville to Orlando.
Lastly, Mayor Cowen provided an update on the Master Plan for the Gladys Porter Zoo, which includes a multi-phased makeover. The plan encompasses an expansion of the lion exhibit, the addition of covered viewing areas, a nocturnal exhibit, and improvements to the Small World exhibit. These projects aim to enhance the zoo's attractions and ensure its sustainability for future generations to enjoy.
The Brownsville Chamber of Commerce partners with the City of Brownsville for the “Friday with the City” once a quarter and it’s an opportunity for City leaders and staff to offer local business owners, and the community-at-large updates on City initiatives, projects and events. The Mayor’s presentation was sold out with nearly 160- people in attendance. The event was closed out with a question-and-answer session, which is also part of the Chamber’s presentation for this event.
To learn more about forthcoming events with the Brownsville Chamber of Commerce, please visit their website at www.BrownsvilleChamber.com. You may also learn more about the City of Brownsville at their news section at www.BrownsvilleTX.Gov.