The Board of Commissioners of the City of Pharr met for a regular meeting on Monday, November 15, 2021, and considered an agenda that included the following highlights:

Pharr Sales Tax Continues Healthy Growth Trend

Pharr City Manager Ed Wylie announced that the Sales Tax Report for the City of Pharr shows an increase of 21.96% year-to-date true growth compared to last year (2020) and 24.85% compared to last November 2020 Payments.

Commission Approves Contracts with Local Hospitals for Ground Ambulance, Rotor-Wing, and Fixed-Wing Transportation Services

The Pharr City Commission approved several agreements allowing City Manager Ed Wylie to enter into a contract with South Texas Health System, Knapp Medical Center, Mission Regional Medical Center, and to amend a contract with Doctors Hospital at Renaissance for ground, rotor-wing, and fixed-wing transportation services. These contracts will allow Pharr EMS to provide non-emergency ground services to the participating hospitals. As part of the individual contracts, South Texas Health System will receive five ambulances, Knapp Medical Center will receive one ambulance, Mission Regional Medical Center will receive one ambulance, and the city has amended a contract with Doctors Hospital at Renaissance stipulating Medicare/Medicaid payments.

Commission Approves Contract with Elite Medical Air Transport, LLC Fixed-Wing Transportation Services

The Pharr City Commission approved an agreement allowing City Manager Ed Wylie to enter into a contract with Elite Medical Air Transport, LLC for fixed-wing transportation services. Currently, Pharr EMS is using McCreery aviation to conduct fixed-wing flights. McCreery aviation does not always have a pilot, therefore we lose flights for this reason. The contract would allow Pharr EMS to have a dedicated aircraft in the RGV for twenty-four-hour use whenever there is a request for a fixed-wing flight.

Commission Approves Lease Agreement with the City of Brownsville for Ambulances

The Pharr City Commission approved authorization for City Manager Ed Wylie to enter into a lease agreement for two (2) ambulances with the City of Brownsville. The City of Brownsville Fire Department is in need of 2 ambulances due to vehicle breakdowns and a new order being delayed due to supply chain issues.

Commission Approves Proclamation Declaring November 5, 2021 as Arbor Day in Pharr

The City Commission approved a Proclamation declaring November 5, 2021, as Arbor Day in Pharr. The official Texas State Arbor Day is held on the first Friday in November. This Arbor Day, as we emerge from a year like no other, the City of Pharr joins in the state’s efforts to encourage all Texas communities to celebrate trees and to Turn Over a New Leaf.  The theme highlights making a fresh start in life by planting a tree. The City of Pharr has a tradition of supporting and encouraging the planting, care, and health of trees throughout the community. The Arbor Day Foundation has named the City of Pharr a 2020 Tree City USA for the fourth consecutive year in honor of its commitment to effective urban forest management. As part of our efforts to celebrate this day, the City of Pharr held an Arbor Day event on November 5, 2021, to encourage the community to expand and appreciate our green footprint. Residents who participated received one of five native trees given away during the event including Anacua, Mexican Olive, Mexican Ash, Texas Ebony, and Red Mulberry.  Sergio Alanis, Pharr Parks, and Recreation Director, and Lilly Martinez, Urban Ecologist accepted the resolution.

Commissioners Recognize the Pharr Memorial Library’s Spooky Monster Story Contest Winner

Mayor Ambrosio Hernandez, M.D., and the Pharr City Commission approved recognized Kadir Alarcon, the Pharr Memorial Library’s Spooky Monster Story Contest Winner. The Pharr Memorial Library held the contest in October to encourage literacy and writing by asking interested participants ages 4-12 years old to submit a story they wrote about the monster that lives under their bed. Kadir, a kindergarten student at Vanguard Academy, used his creative imagination and unique storytelling style to earn the top prize for the contest which garnered numerous exceptional original story submissions. An avid library enthusiast and reader, his phenomenal short story I Have Adopted a Monster! has been published by the Pharr Memorial Library and is available to read. Adolfo Garcia, Pharr Library Director introduced Kadir and his family for the recognition and highlighted his amazing work. The family thanked the Pharr City Commission and library for their outstanding service, dedication to literacy in the community, and for continuing to foster enriching library programs that help students excel. Kadir also presented and signed a copy of his book for Mayor Hernandez. Congratulations from the City of Pharr!

Update on the Pharr-PSJA ISD Natatorium

The Pharr City Commission received an update on the progress of the Pharr – PSJA ISD Natatorium located near the intersection of Sioux Road and Highway 281 which is nearing completion. A $26 million dollar project, this state-of-the-art facility will be used for recreational and sports competitions and is slated to be the biggest aquatic facility in the region. As part of the agreement, both PSJA ISD and the City of Pharr will share usage and costs of maintenance and repairs of the facility. PSJA ISD recently presented a check for $12.225 million to the city for the agreement, which was unanimously approved by the board in late October. The commission received an overview video update of the during the city meeting.”We are proud to bring this caliber state-of-the-art facility to our region and are especially ecstatic to collaborate with our local district to bring these new opportunities to our athletes and community members all while not raising taxes,” said Mayor Hernandez. “This is a wonderful project to bring to our community and our students and we are thrilled to also be collaborating with our partners at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley,” added Dr. Jorge Arredondo, PSJA ISD Superintendent. The natatorium is expected to be completed in December 2021. “This is truly a unique partnership that you will not find anywhere else in the state,” continued Mayor Hernandez. “This is a first for our region having a city, school district, and university partner on a project of this caliber which will benefit our entire region,” said Hernandez.

City Commission Recognizes Telecommunications Officer Dora Medina for Heroic Actions

The City Commission joined Kenneth Ennis, Public Safety Communications Director in recognizing Telecommunications Officer (TCO) Dora Medina for her heroic actions while receiving an emergency call.  On Tuesday, November 9th at around 8:15 am, TCO Medina received a frantic 911 call from a soon-to-be father asking for an ambulance for his wife who was going into labor. TCO Medina, a certified emergency personnel medical dispatcher, went into action providing the father with step-by-step instructions and guidance which ultimately led to the delivery of a healthy baby boy at home before ems arrived. The calm and quick actions of TCO Medina led to the successful delivery and she was presented with a blue stork by Director Ennis for her remarkable actions. “We are proud to have outstanding personnel such as TCO Dora Medina representing and working for our city as we continue to expand and improve our Public Safety Communications,” said Mayor Hernandez. “Thank you for your dedication and congratulations on helping deliver a healthy baby boy!”

Pharr EMS Recognized for Saving Pharr Man

The Pharr City Commission and Danny Ramirez, EMS Chief for the City of Pharr recognized three Pharr EMS medics who assisted with a life-saving effort. On October 15th the Pharr Public Safety Communications Center received a call for a medical emergency involving a Pharr resident who was experiencing a stroke. Quickly recognizing the signs of a stroke and that time was of the essence, the responding medics went into action delivering the highest quality care to ensure the patient arrived at the hospital with the proper treatment. The patient has been successfully treated thanks in large part to the quick actions of the Pharr EMS and is now safely at home making a full and healthy recovery. The entire team was recognized for handling the transfer and treatment of the patient with the highest expectations, care, and speed. Recognized during the meeting with a plaque were Pharr EMS medics Andrew Castellano, Dinora Mendoza, and Shift Captain Ryan Zweygardt. Also, present to be recognized were members from South Texas Health System in McAllen including Alejandra Ayala, Stroke Program Manager, Dr. Khan, Emergency Room Director, Dr. Alexandros Georgiades, Neurovascular Physician, and Erlinda Avantado, Nurse Practitioner who treated the patient and took over his transfer of care. Pharr EMS is proud to deliver the highest quality care to patients and collaborate with local physicians and hospital systems to save lives! “Building this successful Public Safety Communications department and adding the infrastructure for Pharr EMS has been a great vision for Pharr and we are proud to see the fruits of our labor in the actions and life-saving services that our personnel provide to our community every day, said Mayor Ambrosio Hernandez, M.D. “We praise the work of our personnel and we look forward to continuing to grow our services,”he added.