I saw in last week’s Portland News that the Portland City Council voted to hire an outside retail development service to consider bringing new businesses into our city. 

This is all well and good. Last week, Mayor David Krebs had a long letter to the editor. In it, he noted that in the near future, Portland could very well have 30,000- 40,000 people added to our city’s population; and even 50,000 in the far future.

My question is, do Mayor Krebs, City Manager Randy Wright, or any of our council members do their grocery shopping at our H-E-B grocery store? If so (and, how could they not)? ... they must realize that shopping there, or even trying to find a parking spot there, is at times, a real nightmare! 

With our population now at about 20,000, it is growing faster than anyone can keep up with. Once the new apartments on Cedar Drive/Billy G. Webb and the new “luxury townhomes” on Moore Avenue are complete and have tenants living in them, the H-E-B will be worse than a nightmare to shop in. Once the predicted (anywhere from 6,000-11,000) construction workers for the new ExxonMobil cracker are here in town, it can only grow worse!

I don’t really count our Walmart as a food store – it is still a big-box store – their produce, meat, poultry and seafood selections leave much to be desired.

Portland now has nine hotels, three liquor stores, numerous mattress stores, many nail and hair salons, at least two emergency rooms, plenty of fast-food places (but, few nice restaurants) and, still only one actual food market. H-E-B has such a monopoly in South Texas ... it just isn’t right! Please, Mayor Krebs, City Manager Wright, and all you council members, ask the folks at the Birmingham company to look for a grocery/food store for our growing community!

Joyce Shaw