PHARR, Texas (KVEO) — The Lower Rio Grande Valley Development Council (LRGVDC) is one step closer to becoming a 9-1-1 Emergency Communication District (ECD) after the city of Pharr recently approved a resolution in support of its creation.
“It’s a benefit to everyone,” said Eleazar Guajardo, Pharr place 1 commissioner. “Everyone is going to get a little more money.”
The council oversees emergency calls for the Hidalgo and Willacy county area. Becoming an ECD requires approval from each municipality it serves and would mean the 50 cents charged on everyone’s phone bill each month for 9-1-1 services would stay local.
That money would replace the funding the LRGVDC currently receives from the Commission on State Emergency Communications.
“Some of the money comes back to us, not all the money,” said Daniel Ramirez, Pharr Deputy Emergency Management Coordinator. “When it comes back it also comes with a lot of restrictions on how you can spend it for your communication center.”
The creation of the emergency communication district will allow the Lower Rio Grande Valley Development Council to keep all that money here vs going to the state.
Guajardo adds the current 9-1-1 system would not be affected. But with the additional funds, it is expected to improve over the years.
“If you have more resources to have the most modern technology available to your area, you’re in fact saving lives with the additional resources,” he said. “ And that’s the idea”
Once the remaining cities sign, which they both anticipate will happen, a new board will be established with a member representing each municipality to determine how the money will be spent and distributed.
Ramirez says the goal is to create the ECD by August 2021.