Val Verde County commissioner Gus Flores has been busy the past few years. Allow yourself a glance around Precinct 4 and his endeavoring spirit is immediately noticeable in its water, road, and park projects. Undertakings that don’t show up at eight and finish by five.
Commissioner Flores talked with the Texas Times elaborating on water lines, asphalt, produce and picnic tables.
Water extension project
Flores reported that $850,000 has been acquired through state grants to extend water lines to 38 families in the Cienegas area. The project consists of three phases. “I had decided to use…250 (thousand) on the water extension for Vega Verde…the water table had gone down to nothing.
They were hauling water,” he said. “I could have used that money to maybe pave roads that had never been paved before but I thought this was more important. We helped 12 families with water extension.”
Another $250,000 grant will be spent on the project’s second phase, assisting 12 additional families. A third grant for $350,000 is earmarked for the Ridgeline area of Cienegas Terrace delivering water service to 14 families. All three project phases will be done or have been done by Precinct 4 crews.
“It was my decision as a commissioner because we could provide more water line if we did it in-house instead of hiring a company, a contractor to do the job,” Flores said.
Now, these county residents will receive clean water from San Felipe Springs as opposed to well water possibly contaminated by seepage from the Rio Grande.
Frontera Road project
“We’ve been patching and fixing and keeping up with the road as much as possible. Unfortunately, it’s been deteriorating for the past 20, 30 years,” Flores explained.
The road reconstruction plan commenced in 2006 but has been delayed to lack of funding and federal bureaucratic processes.
“One of the biggest issues was we were short on money. And we’re still short on money to meet the cost of that road… Right now, we’ve got about $3 million ($3.3 million to be exact)…some state and federal money.”
He said the repairs are going to cost approximately $4 million.
An engineering report ate up a slice of that figure leaving a balance of $2.9 million.
Frontera Road is home to several tax-revenue generating warehouses and businesses.
Flores insisted the court is fully committed to securing the remainder of the funds needed to complete the road construction.
Food commodities program
The community center operates the food commodities program which offers a wide variety of produce and other foodstuffs.
“We deal with three different food banks…we’re blessed that these food banks are helping us…bringing all this food into the community. It’s free to whoever walks in,” Flores said.
Proper identification is all you need and your good to go. The program is serviced by the Austin Food Bank, South Texas Food Bank in Laredo and the Pearsall Food Bank.
Val Verde County Community Center expansion
The recent $250,00 expansion of the Val Verde County Community Center has established a permanent Social Security office, Community Action office, SNAP (food stamps) office, large waiting area and new restrooms at the site.
According to Flores, the VVC Community Center Community Action office distributed $500,000 to residents of Val Verde County in 2017. The money was used to underwrite rents and electric bills.
In addition, a new playground has been added to the park at the community center with swing sets, volleyball court, picnic tables with canopy and benches forthcoming.
“You can see the growth and progress in Precinct 4,” Flores declared.
For more information, please contact the Val Verde County Community Center at 830-768-1054 or email Sandra Velez at