Starr County residents will soon find out how border wall construction will affect them.
That’s because notices for landowners in the western edge of the Rio Grande Valley will begin arriving in about three weeks, according to Roma Mayor Roberto Salinas.
Salinas said that information was conveyed to him and several officials from other cities in the county Monday during a meeting with U.S. Border Patrol and U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
Last week, CBP and Border Patrol officials confirmed that landowners in Hidalgo and Starr counties would “immediately” begin receiving notices regarding construction along the U.S.-Mexico border as it pertains to their land.
The meeting Monday with Starr County leaders was directly related to that announcement last week — in which CBP and U.S. Army Corp of Engineers officials said they would begin reaching out to landowners in the Valley to conduct “#Rights_of_Entry_for_Survey,” or (#ROE-S), in order to commence the real estate, environmental and design processes for the border infrastructure projects that were funded in CBP’s 2018 fiscal year plan.
“The #Rio_Grande_Valley sector is slated for 25 miles of new levee wall along the Rio Grande River and 8 to 12 miles of bollard wall in Starr County, #Texas — closing gaps along the border in the RGV sector is also part of the border wall project,” CBP announced following the omnibus bill’s passage at the end of March.
According to Salinas, landowners in the Starr County area will receive notification from the federal government within three weeks regarding the segment of wall and fencing in the county.
Salinas said he and other city officials were told during the meeting that the wall construction would begin east of the Fronton area and extend 5.5 miles into #Escobares, but uncertainty remains regarding the downtown area.
Border Patrol spokesman Daniel Tirado confirmed Monday’s meeting with Starr County leaders — stating that RGV Sector personnel met with city officials to provide “the most current information available regarding the proposed infrastructure construction in Starr County.”
“The topic of discussion was the approximately 8-12 miles of border barrier in Starr County and the preliminary barrier alignment proposals which are still pending survey and engineering approval,” Tirado said in an email. “It was also mentioned that potential impacted landowners in Starr County will soon receive a right of entry request letter from the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers to begin the necessary studies.”
The mayor also said that in addition to himself, he was joined by officials from Rio Grande City, Escobares and La Grulla.