The Presidio City Council and Presidio County made history Tuesday at a joint meeting that concluded with an interlocal cooperation agreement to approve the formation of an entirely new governmental entity: the Presidio International Port Authority (PIPA).
The PIPA, to be comprised of city and county representatives, will share the responsibility for all decisions related to the management, operation and maintenance of the Presidio International Port of Entry.
The decision to create this entity emerged somewhat abruptly as plans to expand the Presidio – Ojinaga Port of Entry with two additional lanes—and the acquisition of the Presidential Permit required to do so—seem to finally have mobilized, after a more than a decade-long effort.
But the move was also a strategic one intended to demonstrate to the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) – which has ultimate jurisdiction over the bridge – the city and county’s willingness to cooperate on the project.
At last week’s “West Texas Counties Day,” during which Presidio County representatives met with several key state officials at the Capitol in Austin, County Judge Cinderela Guevara and bridge expansion project manager Jake Giesbrecht met with deputy director of TxDOT John Barton to advance the bridge expansion project.
“[Barton] could see that we’re working together to move forward,” Giesbrecht reported to the commissioner’s court during an earlier county meeting. “TxDOT is ready to speed up the process.”