Judge Eloy Vera spoke to residents, dignitaries and elected officials from Mexico at the 2017 State County Address in Starr County Tuesday night.
Despite being in an area that could be impacted by the construction of a border wall, Vera said he is not concerned about President Donald Trump’s policies.
Instead, Vera is concerned with the devaluation of the peso, which has affected commerce in Starr County.
“The volume of vehicles that cross our bridges continues to be the same or increase, yet the amount of dollars that they are buying here is less,” Vera said. “So, that is an indication that they are coming, but they are not spending their money.”
Vera’s main goal for 2017 is attracting new businesses to Starr County and creating more jobs to keep revenue up.
Two years ago, Starr County held a $5.5 million debt, according to Vera.
After cutting down some budgets and enforcing a hiring freeze, Vera said the county’s finances have come a long way.
“Right now we owe a little over $2 million, but we have $2.7 million…in INS, which is money to pay debt,” Vera said. “So, if we really have to, we can pay off our debt and still have $700,000 in the black.”
The debt was due to various projects and bond money the county owed.
President of Starr County Industrial Foundation, Rose Benavidez, was the event’s MC.
“Regardless of the political rhetoric throughout the country about border communities, Starr County is moving forward and we will not look back,” Benavidez said.