El Paso County is looking to make use of a new partnership with Texas A&M University to tackle some of the smaller but still important issues on the outskirts of the county.
"So the overall goal is to find some projects that will last two weeks," said El Paso County Judge Veronica Escobar (D). "I just got through explaining how chronic and massive our storm water challenges are. So we have to find two week long programs because that's how long the Army will dedicate their members of the military to these projects while they train."
The partnership with Texas A&M University is specifically with the Colonias Program and the Innovative Readiness Training (IRT), also in conjunction with the Department of Defense. The idea is as part of the training to tackle some community needs.
"Or help with storm water, or help with building things like community centers. It has to be a two week long project. And so I think that's probably the biggest challenge (- finding something that's that doable within a 14 day period, and something that would be meaningful. Because clearing brush is not as meaningful as maybe building something. You know, working on a structure.)
The county's role is to provide the facility and any resources needed. The US Army provides the skill set, training and labor and Texas A&M provides research and technical services to the team and project.
"Now that we've given the public works department approval to do this, they can then work closely with Texas A&M to identify a project that would work."