Today, Congressman Henry Cuellar (D-Laredo) congratulated Starr County on receiving a $450,000 grant from by the Board of Directors of the Border Environment Cooperation Commission and the North American Development Bank (NADB). The grant will finance part of a solid waste transfer station.
"This project is a shining example of how federal funds can be put to good use to support a clean and safe environment for families in our local communities," Congressman Cuellar said. "I was glad to assist in facilitating close collaboration between Starr County Judge Eloy Vera, Starr County Commissioner's Court and BECC-NADB. I thank Judge Vera, Starr County Commissioner's Court and BECC-NADB for their hard work and commitment to providing a high quality of life for our South Texas families."
The transfer station, which processes 80 tons of trash a day, opened its doors for operation on November 8, 2010 and has an operating life of at least 15 years, which allows Starr County to continue providing safe and consistent sanitation services and complying with federal and state regulations for the next 20 years. In addition to reimbursing the County for the station's construction, this grant will fund reserves for the station's operation, maintenance, repairs, and replacements, ensuring that residents will be able to leverage the station's services to its fullest extent.
"This is an important investment in Starr County that will benefit residents through improved environmental quality, generated economic development and employment," said Starr County Judge Eloy Vera. "I thank Congressman Cuellar for his aid in working with BECC-NADB to help us sustain this important project."
The total authorized capital of NADB is $3 billion with equal commitments from the United States and Mexico. This is the final project to be funded directly under the Solid Waste Environmental Program (SWEP), which has formally been closed. The grant was funded from the Banks' retained earnings. Starr County originally paid $1.4 million for the construction of the station.
"These grant funds will help Starr County pay down existing debt on the transfer station and will also provide necessary reserve funds, making the County's solid waste operations more affordable and sustainable for the community," stated Gerónimo Gutiérrez, Managing Director of the North American Development Bank.