The University of Texas-Pan American Office of Center Operations and Community Services (CoSERVE) is creating a strategic plan designed to focus on the future economic development and growth of Rio Grande City.
Rio Grande City hired CoSERVE in March to work with local residents in developing a plan for the city's future growth.
Leo Olivarez, director of the CoSERVE's Center for Local Government, said the five-year plan will address the city's strengths, and weaknesses, as well as the goals and strategies the city must develop in order to stimulate future development.
"The city is rich in history and has high potential for tourism, and they need to capitalize on that," Olivarez said.
The plan will chart a future direction and focus that Rio Grande City could take to alleviate long-term effects of high unemployment, low income, high incidence of poverty and other indicators of distress, Olivarez added.
The plan, which was made possible through a $150,000 grant awarded to Rio Grande City by the U.S. Economic Development Administration, is scheduled to be finalized in October.
Roland Arriola, director of UTPA's CoSERVE, said the Rio Grande City strategic plan was modeled after strategic plan his group did for Edinburg.
"Other cities such as Dallas have succeeded because they have had plans for long-term economic growth," Arriola said. "In the 1960s, when Dallas began its plan, no one believed there would be a major intercontinental airport. Now, the Dallas-Fort Worth airport is the nation's second busiest."