The Rotary Club of Brownsville Sunrise received an update on the happenings in Brownsville as Brownsville City Manager Helen Ramirez, AICP, was the guest speaker and gave a presentation at a recent meeting of the club.
Ramirez spoke about the One City Initiative that focuses on collaboration and partnerships involving not only the City of Brownsville but also various nonprofits and community organizations. Ramirez emphasized the importance of working together to ensure the city's success and evolution.
“For me, as city manager, for our mayor, and for our city commission partnerships are really important,” Ramirez said. “We understand that a city can evolve but it is part of a whole network of nonprofits and community, without community, we are lost and we will not accelerate our success as much.”
The City Manager spoke about the BTX Fiber Project as a significant infrastructure development aimed at providing high-speed and affordable internet access throughout Brownsville. It's designed to offer options to residents and ensure continuous connectivity, including 5G connectivity. One notable feature is its redundancy, with multiple rings to prevent network outages. “Right now electricity, if something goes down the whole neighborhood goes down. You won’t have that,” with BTX Fiber, Ramirez said.
Ramirez also stated that Elon Musk, the founder of SpaceX, has established a relationship with Brownsville by leasing a warehouse for his business in the city. Additionally, Ramirez mentioned that they have encouraged SpaceX to provide internships for local students, which is a valuable opportunity for the community.
The City Manager said Brownsville is witnessing improvements in its downtown area, including the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley's acquisition of the old Majestic Theater and JCPenney building for transformation into a performing arts center. There is also a significant rehabilitation project underway at the El Jardin Hotel, amounting to over $29 million.
Ramirez said the city is investing in the Gladys Porter Zoo, issuing approximately $29 million in certificates of obligation to support improvements and expansion of the zoo. This investment is aimed at enhancing the cultural and recreational offerings in Brownsville.
The City Manager said these initiatives and partnerships show a commitment to the growth and development of Brownsville, focusing on infrastructure, education, culture, and community engagement to improve the quality of life for its residents.