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Ribbon-cutting held for new, cold storage facility at Mariposa Port of Entry

Nogales imports $4 billion in produce every year
Officials hold ribbon cutting at mariposa port of entry
Posted at 8:28 PM, Apr 06, 2023

NOGALES, Ariz. (KGUN) — The Greater Nogales Santa Cruz Port Authority held a ribbon-cutting ceremony Thursday morning for a brand-new cold storage facility at the Mariposa Port of Entry.

The new cold storage facility at the port puts Nogales in competition with other ports along the US-Mexico border.

Prior to the addition of the cold storage rooms, the port didn’t have the infrastructure to handle certain types of produce when trucks were off-loaded for inspection.

Now, Nogales Mayor Jorge Maldonado says they hope to import a larger share of the 77 percent of produce imported to the U.S. from Mexico, according to the USDA.

"This is going to open up opportunities for the western [side] of the country to be able to supply their products through Nogales, where we didn’t have that opportunity in the past," Maldonado said.

He says 1800 trucks pass through the port every day. With predictions of that number passing 2,000 per day, Guillermo Valencia, with the Nogales U.S. Customs Brokers Association, says that means more jobs for the city.

"Those customers are going to employ people here; they’re going to do business here; they’re going to consume here," he said. "We benefit from it, the city of Nogales benefits, Santa Cruz County benefits."

The mayor said six cold storage rooms were originally planned with a $2 million investment. He said after challenges with budgeting and the COVID-19 pandemic, the project ultimately ended with two rooms and a $900,000 investment.

However, he hopes to work with city, county and federal officials to add more in the future.

"It’s only two doors instead of six, that’s why I mentioned we need to expand," Maldonado said. "We need to make it bigger."