Presidio daycare center edges closer to reality
June 15th, 2017 under Top Stories
By ELVIRA LARA
PRESIDIO — Last week’s meeting of the Presidio Municipal Development District (PMDD) opened up the stage to a number of new prospects for the city of Presidio, including the daycare center that has been expected to open since the beginning of the 2016 school year. Parents will be happy to hear that the wait might soon be over.
The childcare center was initially a project of the YWCA, but later terminated by the same organization. Local childcare providers who had been hired prior to the dissolution chose to carry the project forward with help from the local school district. Since then, a board of directors, Superintendent Dennis McEntire, PISD employee Manuel Fausett, and Virginia Price from Genesis 21 have turned the daycare into a reality. There are only a few missing pieces.
The daycare already has a location and utilities within the Brito building on the Presidio ISD elementary school campus. A few modifications are needed to bring the center up to code in compliance with state law. Veronica Prieto and a group of women from the Presidio Early Childcare Education Coalition stood before the development board last Wednesday to request monetary support to complete the work. Daycare director Diana Martin later described it as “start-up money.”
The women present at the meeting are four of five childcare providers that were originally hired to work at the daycare. Yvonne Escontrias estimates that up to 70 children will be eligible for childcare services once the center has a full set of employees. The group was hoping to receive support from the PMDD for initial wages as well. However, Economic Development Director Brad Newton explained that funds are restricted and cannot be used for salaries.
“We can help with consumables,” said Newton. “I think if you can show things like toys, cribs, chairs, baby bottles, we might be able to make a modest contribution.” PMDD members were amenable to funding the building modifications. They asked the group to return with a specific list of items at the following meeting.
Daycare Director Martin says the center is on the cusp of receiving the final licenses to begin operations. “We are so close to opening our doors to the community of Presidio. The application for a childcare license will be submitted very soon. We are very hopeful and excited to offer our community childcare services which are very much needed.”
Following the news about the future daycare center, another possible economic addition was proposed to PMDD members. Herman Acosta from Alpine and local entrepreneur Ismael Lara expressed their interest in opening a concrete plant in Presidio. Acosta is the owner of Tri-County Steel, a company that builds and sells metal structures as well as concrete. Lara owns the two gas stations in town and also has a construction company. Together they have two locations in mind for their joint business, one being at the industrial park near the chile plant.
Acosta had some environmental concerns about the location and would like to do more research on the land before committing to make a purchase. In terms of space, Acosta said, “five acres is good for now.” The business partners are expecting to open the concrete plant in the next year. “It’s going to happen,” assured Acosta. He believes Presidio is becoming a lucrative place to do business. “In five to ten years this place is not going to look the same.”
The concrete plant is estimated to create up to 10 jobs initially and add to the local sales tax revenue in benefit of the city. Concrete will be sold for both personal and large-scale use, including state-certified projects. Acosta and Lara will return to the PMDD as their business plans develop.
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