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Elon Musk Surprises Brownsville, Texas With $30 Million Donation

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  • The mayor of Brownsville said the city was not expecting a $30 million donation from Elon Musk.
  • Musk said earlier he wanted engineers to move to Brownsville and work in SpaceX’s rocket launch facility.
  • It came after the latest test launch ended in a huge explosion.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

A Texas city was taken by surprised when Elon Musk tweeted on Tuesday that he would donate $30 million to revitalize it and its schools, after appealing for people to move there to work for SpaceX.

He tweeted that he was donating $20 million to schools in Cameron County and $10 million to revitalize downtown Brownsville, home to one of the company’s rocket production facilities and close to the launch site in Boca Chica, which Musk has said he wants to grow into a city called “Starbase.”

Musk added: “Details to follow next week.”

The cash pledge for Brownsville was a surprise to Mayor Trey Mendez.

“Unfortunately at this time, I am unable to give you much information as we are still not sure about any details,” he told Protocol on Wednesday.

“This came as a surprise to everyone yesterday morning and we have not had a chance to speak with [Musk] to obtain more information.”

In a subsequent interview with KSAT 12, Mendez said: “It’s certainly exciting to hear of Elon Musk’s proposed donation to the city for downtown revitalization.

“We look forward to a discussion about how this could help our community prosper as we take a front seat to the next chapter of space exploration and innovation.”

He added that the private sector has “taken notice” of the investment opportunities in Brownsville, adding he hoped that Musk’s capital would help “accelerate the progress even more.”

The SpaceX CEO pledged the money after the company’s most recent launch in the area – the fourth test flight of the Starship prototype – ended in a huge explosion.

Musk tweeted: “Please consider moving to Starbase or greater Brownsville/South Padre area in Texas & encourage friends to do so!”

He added Starbase would “grow by several thousand people over the next year or two.”

The SpaceX CEO moved from California to Texas in December after a spat about local coronavirus restrictions temporarily closing Tesla’s US car factory.

Are you currently living in or around Brownsville? What’s it like having SpaceX in the area? Contact this reporter via Twitter or email: [email protected]

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