Leonel “Leo” Garcia
I am very pleased and honored to report on the many city accomplishments and capital improvement projects in development throughout our community.
To the citizens of Sullivan City, our city is now in a financial recovery mode and debt free from long term obligations. It was only four years ago that our community was operating with huge deficits and confronting daily financial challenges. The city was struggling to pay its bills, negotiating with the Internal Revenue Service to pay delinquent payroll taxes, and setting up payment plans with the Texas Comptroller’s Office.
The city is now looking at a brighter and progressive future. Sullivan City is now operating in an open and transparent local government, and being a good steward of public funds. We have accomplished financial stability and eliminated the city’s debt in excess of $ 570,000 without raising property taxes and/or service fees. Sullivan City is moving in the right direction and planning financially in an efficient and effective manner.
Community development projects are coming to fruition to address long term challenges such as much needed drainage and street improvements. The city is currently working on a project which consists in the construction of a swale/bar ditch and valley gutters, to include but not limited to the installation of driveway culvert pipes, safety ends, related street resurfacing improvements and replacement of existing driveways up to property line. This project will begin once a contract is finalize and negotiated with contractor. (El Pinto Rd. From Bluebird to Expressway 83)
For drainage improvements, plans are now underway to construct a swale from 4th street to US 83 along the east and west side of El Faro Road and to connect to the existing culvert at the intersection. The project includes the construction of 3,000 linear feet of swale with approximately 30” in depth and 20” in width in a trapezoidal cross section. It also consists of the construction of 12 driveways and 5 roadways intersections. The final design will establish the dimensions of the swale and the culverts. The project will require street repairs at intersection, driveway repairs and valley gutters and coordination with Hidalgo County and Texas Department of Transportation.
In our city meeting held on February 28, 2017, the City Commission authorized the submittal of an application to the Texas Water Development Board to attain funding for drainage and street improvements. The city is in a position to apply for a straight loan in 2017 and/or on a competitive basis for a loan and loan forgiveness for 2018. Which road the city ultimately pursues will depend on what is most beneficial for Sullivan City.
The city is constructing a Splash Pad which will begin construction on April 2017, and be ready for our youth this summer. This project consists of a recycling Water Splash Pad (101.5’ x 380.5’) and it is being funded by Hidalgo County Urban Program and the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. Final approval to proceed with this much anticipated project was on March 7, 2017.
Another ongoing project is the Street Light Project which the city is working with AEP to bring street lights to our neighborhoods throughout the city. AEP will resume the placement of lights within the next couple of weeks. Streets targeted for placement of lights include but are not limited to: Los Ebanos, Fresno and Mesquite.
To strengthen public safety and fire protection, Sullivan City has invested $ 30,000 in the Volunteer Fire Department. The city purchased bunker gear for ten volunteer firefighters with Urban County funds. The helmets have already been delivered to City Hall and the bunker gear is scheduled for delivery in March 2017. Our city fire fighters will now be fully equipped for fire prevention and protection.
Our police department has secured numerous grants to strengthen community policing, to increase personnel and acquired the latest technology equipment. Additionally, Sullivan City via a Memorandum of Understanding with the City of Penitas has attained two Chevy Tahoes. The police department is already planning for the future growth of our community and working on attaining additional grant funds to deliver superior police services.
The Municipal Court Department has gone high tech in Sullivan City and now offers online services for payment of current and outstanding citations. The Municipal Court is working with our police department and State of Texas to settle outstanding debt and to collect delinquent municipal court fines.
We are excited about the future of our community and the City Commission is looking forward to transforming Sullivan City from a rural community into an urban community. Through our local government and with the strong leadership in our City Commission, we have built the foundation to attract new businesses, to retain our existing businesses and to strengthen the quality of life. We have also begun discussions on the feasibility of constructing a new City Hall and Public Safety Building for Sullivan City to meet our growing challenges.
We welcome and invite all citizens to be a part of the success story taking shape in our community. It is important that our citizens participate in the development of our community and help the city develop a vision and a plan for the future of Sullivan City. Be a part of the blueprint for the future. Remember, our government is of the people, by the people, and for the people.
I invite you to check out our new Website and stay abreast of all community activities taking place in Sullivan City. It is important to inform you where we are, where we are going and how we plan to get there.
The message is clear: Sullivan City is one of the finest communities in Hidalgo County and is ready for major financial investments. Sullivan City is open for business.