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Douglas .- Since coming to office one of many initiatives has been to promote Douglas as a place that is open for business. There is much work to be done on many fronts; however one principal issue is the need to modernize our port of entry and to relocate truck crossings to a new facility. The Raul Castro Port of Entry is one of Arizona’s principle gateways for trade and tourism. In 2016, Douglas was the gateway for more than $4 billion worth of goods, more than 7.6 million people, 62,000 trucks and 3.2 million cars in two-way traffic. 



 Mayor
          Robert Uribe
A recent study by the Sierra Vista Metropolitan Planning Organization showed that up to 81 percent of crossers are frequent crossers and that the average visitor spends $196 per visit. With key destinations including Douglas, Sierra Vista and Tucson our port of entry plays an essential role in the growth and development of the entire region.

 But we are also the ones that live with the day to day impacts associated with the port of entry. The port of entry is outdated, overburdened and inefficient. In addition, trucks are forced to use the same roads and inspection facilities as are cars, buses and pedestrians. While we are the gateway for many products we are also the gateway for many shipments of hazardous materials that are currently being shipped through the heart of Douglas and Agua Prieta. 

 It is imperative that we take trucks and all hazardous materials out of the heart of our population centers. The Customs and Border Protection personnel that operate the port do the best that they can with what they have. But if we are to make our port a catalyst for investment and growth we need to ask our federal government to make the necessary investments for a state of the art facility that makes the border crossing experience the best that it can be for our visitors.

 We also need to relocate all commercial operations out of the downtown area to a new facility to the west of Douglas. But the projects to modernize our existing port and to build a new one are but tools in the long-term development of Douglas and the entire region. These projects will help us attract new investment in manufacturing, warehousing, distribution centers, retail, lodging, restaurants and much more. 

This will also help us expand our tax base, create jobs and diversify our economy. We must remain focused as the very future of our community depends on our commitment.

 http://www.douglasdispatch.com/opinion/editorials/the-douglas-port-of-entry-a-catalyst-for-investment-and/article_6f06d20e-409e-11e7-9b39-7f83c4ed49d8.html
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