Calexico School Board Holds Special Meeting for Community Pool Update

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CALEXICO – Amid worries about a lack of promised Measure H funds for the construction of the Calexico community swimming pool facilities and due to reports of the city of Calexico not responding to numerous attempts made by the Calexico Unified School District (CUSD) to resolve the issue, the school district board held a special meeting Monday evening to analyze and find a possible funding solution.

“We have sent various letters to the city of Calexico requesting an answer with regards to the $3 million the city was going to contribute to the district and have had absolutely no response,” said Ciro Calderon, president of the CUSD board. “During the joint pool meeting on April 12, Calexico Mayor Joong Kim stated that Measure H Funds were depleted, and the city of Calexico would not be contributing the $3 million toward the CUSD pool project. This made me very worried, and therefore we must find a solution to this ongoing problem.”

However, in an effort to clarify the issue, two Calexico city council members attended the meeting to reassure the school board that the city is working on rectifying the problem.

Calexico Council Member Armando Real attended the meeting and presented the CUSD board members with a Measure H fund summary as follows:

City of Calexico Measure H Bond: The City of Calexico projected $10,800,000 of Measure H for the construction of the new fire station ($7,000,000), Adrian Cordova Park ($1,800,000) and swimming pool ($2,000,000). These funds are currently available. City staff is currently working on preparing an agenda item for the next regular Council meeting which is scheduled for May 3, to release the $2,000,000 of Measure H Bond to the Calexico Unified School District (CUSD) for the construction of the swimming pool.

City of Calexico Measure H: The City of Calexico had originally proposed $1,000,000 of Measure H funds for the construction of the swimming pool. Unfortunately, due to the $4,500,000 deficit the City was facing for FY 2014-15, the $1,000,000 out of Measure H funds are no longer available for the construction of the swimming pool.

Calexico USD RDA 2011 Bond: The City of Calexico continues to pursue the Calexico USD RDA 2011 Bond with the Department of Finance. More information will be provided as it becomes available.

“It’s unfortunate that some people take our Mayor’s (Kim) word and assume the rest of the board agrees with what he has said,” said Real. “I spoke to the City Manager (Nick Fenley) who reassured me the plan is to release the $2 million to you (CUSD). The item will be placed our agenda during our next council meeting for approval.”

“I support the pool 100% and if it were up to me, I would give you the $3 million, but unfortunately I’m not the only council member,” said Real.

Calexico Council Member Martiza Hurtado was also present and expressed her support, assuring the school board she, too, was in favor of releasing the funds.

CUSD board member Lorenzo Calderon Jr. said the school district was not at a position to wait for the city to respond without having an alternate solution.

“I appreciate both council members Real and Hurtado being here showing their support, however, they are here representing themselves and not the entire council, therefore we need to have a plan in place,” said Calderon. “We are having this meeting, not to point fingers, but to bring a solution.”

After a lengthy discussion of possible solutions and options, the CUSD board voted unanimously to give the city of Calexico a deadline of April 28 to respond in writing with their intentions on the funding. Additionally, the board agreed to utilize half of the funding from the unrestricted general funds and the other half from the LCAP.

“We promised our kids they would be swimming by June 10, and we will do whatever it takes to bring this project to fruition,” said Calderon.