EPISO/Border Interfaith Leverages $13M for Water, Wastewater Services in Montana Vista Colonia

For years, Montana Vista felt like a forgotten community due to poverty, isolation and a lack of relationships with elected officials.  Residents appealed to their then-priest at San Juan Diego Catholic for support in getting much needed basic streets, parks and wastewater services.  A longtime leader and co-chair of EPISO, Father Ed Roden-Lucero and EPISO organizers worked with resident leaders, guiding them in their efforts to seek essential infrastructure.

Part of those efforts included community education about the Economically Distressed Areas Program, a program created in 1989 by EPISO/Border Interfaith and sister Texas IAF organizations to address lack of infrastructure in the colonias.  That same year, EPISO/BI and Texas IAF organizations got out the vote to amend the Texas Constitution to provide the Texas Water Development Board $200 million dollars to issue grants and loans to install water and wastewater infrastructure in colonias and economically distressed areas.  Since 1989, over $1 Billion dollars have been invested in colonias and economically distressed areas across Texas.

During the 2019 legislative session, Texas IAF leaders advanced efforts to generate millions in infrastructure dollars for Texas' poorest families by allowing the Texas Water Development Board (TWDB) to use money from the Economically Distressed Areas Program (EDAP) to provide access to drinking water and wastewater services.  When Prop 2 passed this November, it guaranteed $200 million more to work on this and similar projects in Texas.

Change is coming to Montana Vista.  In January, a long-fought for (and separately funded) road extension was newly opened, with four lanes, bike routes, sidewalks, lighting, and landscaping.   Now, to community acclaim, El Paso Water is breaking ground for Phase 1 of its water and wastewater project -- scheduled for completion within 18 months.   

El Paso Water Recognition of EPISO/Border Interfaith [video]

Inician Obra de Agua y Drenaje en Montana VistaTelemundo

Montana Vista Road Extension Breaks Ground, EPISO


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