ROMA, Texas – The managing director of NADBank says his bank is the right bank, in the right place, at the right time to help communities like Roma and Miguel Aleman.
John Beckham spoke at a press conference held at the entrance to the historic Roma-Miguel Aleman international suspension bridge. He was there to announce $835,000 in new federal funding for the neighboring cities.
Some of the funds will help with the restoration of the bridge and some will be used for the acquisition of a new compactor for the city’s landfill site.
“So a couple of you guys may be scratching your head asking what the hell is NADBank,” Beckham said, at the start of his remarks at the press conference.
“So, the bank is a binational institution established by the US and Mexico to channel funding, technical assistance, and grants for infrastructure needs all along the border that improve the environmental and community well-being of its residents.”
Beckham said this was why he was in Roma.
“That’s what our purpose is. The bank has an ambitious program and strategy to continue growing with this border region over the next several years. And I’m really pleased and enthused to hear about the activity you all have and the dreams you have for this, for the growth that you anticipate for Miguel Aleman and Roma.”
Beckham said NADBank was in the unique position of being able to fund the building of international bridges because it is a binational institution.
“So, we work with our Mexican and US partners to make infrastructure that benefits everybody along the border. And it’s great to be emblematic and it will be emblematic of that kind of cause and commitment to our mutual and prosperous future together.”
Beckham continued: “I like to say that NADBank is the right bank, at the right place, at the right time to help our communities grow – because we are from both sides of the borders. We’re from the region. We’re based in San Antonio and have our office in Juarez. We live, breathe and we want to be here in this region.”
Beckham said the current surge in maquiladora activity, caused by near-shoring, is a “huge opportunity and challenge” for the border region.
“We need to take advantage by investing in infrastructure to preserve the environment, preserve the jobs we have and create new sustainable jobs for our children and their children,” he said.
“We see it all on the border but especially in communities like Roma. These major infrastructure projects are what’s going to drive that growth. And so I’m happy today to talk about some of the things we’ve got going right here, right now in Roma.”
Beckham said NADBank’s Community Assistance Program is designed to focus on waste and water sanitation. From this program, he said, the bank has approved $450,000.
“We’ve done more than approve. We’ve actually got working a trash compactor in the sanitary landfill. Well, you might say, it’s (just) a compactor. Well, actually, it is a very efficient and great way to extend the useful life of the landfill you have here.”
Beckham said the compactor Roma has secured will help extend the life of the city’s landfill site. “We’re happy at the bank to be able to help in that process.”
As for the Roma-Miguel Aleman suspension bridge, Beckham said NADBank is
supporting its rehabilitation.
“We’ve approved $385,000 in technical assistance to advance the necessary studies in engineering work for this construction. But one of the key features we’re doing is… we can provide these facilities and this expertise on both sides of the border,” Beckham explained.
“Half a bridge doesn’t solve our problems. We need both sides. And I think that’s the challenge that I accept from Henry, Congressman Cuellar, to get both sides meeting in the middle, on time and on budget. And so this technical assistance will help us do that.”
Beckham said most people are aware that Mexico is the United States’ largest trading partner.
“And for that to continue being a source of pride, a source of economic prosperity, and a source of binational relationship, we need to maintain this infrastructure so that it can meet the new needs.”
Beckham concluded his remarks by saying events such as the one in Roma are the best part of his job.
“It’s a sunny day, I am out by a cool bridge that I hope we are going to be able to finish, and that you see, most importantly, firsthand how these projects help people like y’all and communities like y’all contribute to the well being of your communities.”
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