PEARSALL, TX – Pearsall can now call itself the biggest little town in the area.
It’s bursting at the seams as more and more people capitalize on the wealth found in the Eagle Ford Shale.
With all that cash coming in, city leaders are now making sure the money is spent in the right way.
Black gold brought the Midas touch, spreading throughout Pearsall and into Rosalinda Onofre’s hair salon.
"It's kind of like tripled in business,” she says. "And they say more people are coming."
But with hotels, restaurants and traffic popping up everywhere, the prosperity also brings pitfalls.
"We need the roads fixed,” Onofre says. “We need more water in Pearsall. We have a lot of water problems."
As interim city manager, Robert Tobias is evaluating how Pearsall has grown.
"It's kind of a reactionary response so things are happening fast,” he says. “Developers are expecting quick actions by the cities, and sometimes moving fast doesn't mean moving right."
That’s why the city is partnering with UTSA to study what is the right way for Pearsall to grow and create a plan to make it happen.
"Put some ideas on the board as to what it could become,” Tobias says.
He says the vision begins on the streets of downtown, exploring how to take the historic buildings and turn them into places where people will want to live, work and play for generations to come.
"If you build it, will they come?” Tobias says. “Part of it is, if you build it, at least you have something where you can attract people to in the future."
He says the city’s budget for downtown redevelopment is up to $5 million but that money could triple with the help of business owners in public-private partnerships.
"Everyone needs to, including me, we need to fix our buildings up and make it nicer,” Onofre says.