Weslaco Pastor Wants Poorly Maintained Canal Cleared

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WESLACO – A Weslaco pastor wants a nearby canal cleaned. He said reptiles, rodents and other wild animals hide in high grass around the canal and invade church property.

Refugio Galvan said a crew from Hidalgo and Cameron Counties Irrigation District No. 9 arrived late last year to cut the high grass that surrounds the canal near his church.

He believes the district was pressured by a story we ran on CHANNEL 5 NEWS. However, he noticed it was the last time he saw the irrigation district keep up with the growing grass.

Galvan said his wheelchair makes it hard for him to get away from wildlife such as rats or snakes. Yet, he is even more concerned about those who attend his services.

"They have a lot of kids out here on Sundays running around with possums and raccoons and rats," he said.

He says members of his church are expressing concern about the unkempt canal.

"They don't know what to do. They come, but they don't know who to call or what to do," he added.

Galvan notes he is hesitant to contact the irrigation district again. He said he hasn't tried since late last year.

"I don't call them anymore. The director, last time I talked to the director, he got all upset and started cussing at me. I don't want to cuss them and I don't want them to cuss at me, so I don't call them," he said.

CHANNEL 5 NEWS went to the Hidalgo and Cameron Counties Irrigation District No. 9. A spokeswoman for the group talked with us off-camera.

She said shortly after we contacted the irrigation district offices, its manager, Randy Winston, put in a work order. She said its directive is to have the stretch of the canal mowed and cleaned.

Galvan said he is satisfied the work order has been put in and is happy the canal area will be cleaned up. He added, in the future, he will be more willing to just go ahead and call the office to put in a work order himself.

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