The Starr County courthouse is set to get a much-needed facelift thanks, in part to nearly $2.4 million in federal funds.
U.S. Rep. Henry Cuellar, D-Laredo, announced Tuesday that nearly $2.4 million would go toward repairs and restoration of the Starr County courthouse which is located in Rio Grande City.
The improvements will include roof replacement, HVAC upgrades, hazardous material abatement, and ADA accessibility, according to a news release issued by Cuellar’s office.
Those federal funds will pay for part of the interior renovations, the rest of which will be funded through a $4 million loan from the United States Department of Agriculture.
Work on the exterior of the building will cost about $4.5 million which Starr County Judge Eloy Vera said there was a possibility they would be able to secure a grant to cover 75% of that cost.
“The courthouse, as the congressman said, is going to be broken down up in two phases — the interior and the exterior — and the reason for that is so we can get more grant money into the project,” Vera said. “By breaking it up this way, the congressman was able to get us almost $2.5 million; we’re going to have to borrow about $4 million for the interior.”
“On the exterior, it’s going to take about $4.5 million of which I have been told there’s a very good possibility that we’ll get a 75% grant,” Vera continued, “so we’re looking at a $11 to $11.5 million project of which our taxpayers will only have to pay less than half of that, around $5 million.”
“So we’re doing the best we can to get as much money into the county without us having to pay back most of it and we’ve been able to do that,” Vera said.