The city of Robstown held a groundbreaking ceremony at the location of the now under construction, new City Hall building on Friday, March 21. The ceremony celebrated the closing of the long-gestating loan deal with the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)-Rural Development program.

During the ceremony, several distinguished guests were in attendance, and spoke on behalf of the groundbreaking, including Robstown Mayor Rodrigo Ramon, Jr. , Robstown City Administrator Paula Wakefield, Asst. Area Director of USDA-Rural Development Lisa Kelley.

“Today is our groundbreaking of our brand new City Hall. We received a loan from the USDA, and it’s been in the works for about three to three and a half years,” said Mayor Ramon, Jr. “Finally, it came to completion, we closed, and we are moving forward with the construction.”

The USDA-Rural Development loan is in the amount of $5,650,000 and is facilitating the construction of the new City Hall, which is expected to take 220 to 300 days to complete, allowing for a January or February grand opening.

“It is a very good project, because the loan is at the lowest rate you can find,” said Wakefield. “We are able to stretch it for more than thirty years; we can actually go up to forty; or perhaps an early payout.”

According to city officials, this is the first building in Robstown’s 107-year history to be designed solely as a city hall. The building will house most of the city offices, nearly becoming a one-stop shop for everything city related. The building will also serve as a command center during emergencies and disasters.

“Everybody will be here, except for the Fire Department and Police Department; they have their own buildings,” said Mayor Ramon, Jr. “This will be a catch-all; everything to do business with the city will be here.”

The final close on the USDA-Rural Development deal was highlighted Friday, as several city and state dignitaries raised shovels, symbolizing the hard work it took, and will continue to take, to complete Robstown’s new City Hall, which will be located at 101 E. Main St.

“We are very pleased to see the project come to fruition. It was a long road and it took a lot of dedication from our agency, and the city, and the agencies,” said USDA-Rural Development Asst. Area Director Lisa Kelley. “It’s very pleasing to see it finally under construction. Hopefully the community will benefit from it.”

City Administrator Wakefield concluded with, “It will be the best building in town!”