Brawley council discusses priorities of various city projects

Brawley city council members learned repairing the Brawley Water Treatment Plant is one of the city’s most important projects in an update from City Manager Rosanna Bayon Moore she gave at a regular meeting May 2 .

BRAWLEY — Rosanna Bayon Moore, Brawley city manager, updated the Brawley city council on projects that the city has slated and sought direction for prioritization, including grant and non-grant funded projects, at the regular city council meeting May 2.

Some of the grant-funded projects include preliminary engineering for Wildcat Drive, which is projected to run from Highway 86 through to old Highway 111, American Disabilities Act (ADA) improvements on city bus routes, Phase 2 of the Volunteer Park parking lot resurfacing, Hinojosa Park ADA improvements, the Senior Center roof, and various sidewalks throughout the city.

The grants total about $3 million, with a small percentage of local matches. According to Moore, these projects must be completed within a certain time or funding will be forfeited.

“We need to look at the compressed time lines and multiple projects within these grant matches,” said Councilman Don Wharton. “We need to make sure we get these accomplished within these timelines.”

According to Moore, the city is seeking extensions to some of the deadlines of the grant commitments.

“If we could just concentrate on these projects and eliminate all others, I think we could finish them,” said Moore. “The reality is, we know we have to move forward with water plant improvements no matter what. We also have to be able to respond to emergencies as they arise.”

“I think it is important for the public to know the size, scope, and quantity of these projects that we are trying to take on,” said Wharton. “We are doing this with three people. The council is certainly open to outside assistance on these projects.”

“There are a number of capital projects we are proposing to use outside construction management support,” said Moore. “The general fund and the water fund are the two most challenged funding sources. We appreciate the option of being flexible and will bring good alternatives back to you, if we cannot meet the target dates on some of these.”

Other city projects that are in line to be completed include water lines, street repair, sewer lines, water plant repairs, and water valves, officials said.

According to reports, the city is resurfacing streets a section at a time, covering those in most disrepair first. Reportedly, Legion Road near the hospital is one of those streets that has high traffic and is in need of resurfacing.

According to Moore, the city is obligated to use developer impact fees in the areas of highest growth.

“Our struggle is to deliver all of the projects in light of their volume,” said Moore. “Also, grant timelines may or may not reflect the needs of the city.”

According to Moore, the city can realistically take care of two to three major projects in a year, while also taking care of every day activities. The grant projects and the water plant repairs are of utmost priority. The water line replacement will probably not happen this year, she said.

“We are going to do our best to keep the road improvements moving forward,” said Moore. “Everything else, we will do our very best to perform.”