HARLINGEN, Texas (ValleyCentral) — Mayor Chris Boswell addressed a room full of community leaders and guests today at the Harlingen Convention Center during the annual State of the City Address.

Mayor Boswell said the state of Harlingen is strong and highlighted the growth and plans for the future of the city.

“Despite all the challenges brought on by the pandemic these last two years, Harlingen has continued to thrive. Indeed, the state of the city is strong,” said Boswell.

He said the city has seen significant growth in many different aspects.

“Overall growth in our community, the population growth and our census figures going up 11% and the retail sales tax growth, just all the business activity that continues to grow,” he said.

He said new businesses are making their way to Harlingen including DD’s Discounts, Party City, and The Moon Rock Food Truck Park.

He also made an announcement that UTRGV will be launching a new program at the Harlingen campus.

“The new school of Podiatry, the first in the state of Texas to be located here in Harlingen. All of that really impacts our quality of life,” he said.

Boswell said the new school of podiatry is vital in the valley because of the high rate of diabetes.

In addition to health, he also addressed the important topic of drainage.

“We’re also embarking on more drainage planning, $6 million dollars planning study, from the Texas Water Development board for a regional plan and then also another about $14 million dollars in grant funding that we have earmarked to do six new projects in the coming year,” Boswell explained.

He said the Valle Vista Mall will be getting a new private healthcare facility soon.

“We want to promote the mall and remember that there are 55 businesses out there, but that mall will become a more mixed-use facility with these offices, training facilities, which will help the existing retail facilities and restaurants that are out there,” said Boswell.

He concluded the address by thanking everyone in attendance including organizations that were at the event and his wife, Anita Boswell.