Imperial County Receives $3.4 Million from State for Community Projects

Imperial County Community and Economic Development Manager Esperanza Colio-Warren addresses the Board of Supervisors.

EL CENTRO —The County of Imperial received notification October 31 from the California Department of Housing and Community Development (HDC) advising it has been awarded $3.4 million in grant money to be utilized toward community projects.

“This is great news for our county and the ten projects that will be able to move forward with this financial support,” said Imperial County Board of Supervisors Chairman Jack Terrazas, District 2 representative.  “I want to commend Mrs. Colio-Warren and her staff for their success in securing this grant that will greatly benefit our community.”

The federal Community Development Block Grant Program (CDBG) helps communities address a wide range of unique community needs. HCD, which administers CDBG funds to smaller and rural communities, awarded the $28 million to 26 California cities and counties, including Imperial County, to help expand housing, community, and economic development opportunities for all Californians.

In April, the Imperial County Board of Supervisors held two public hearings to receive public input on potential activities and projects to utilize the grant funds.

During both public hearings, the board was approached with several potential projects and requests from community members to be considered for the CDBG Program at which time Community and Economic Development Manager Esperanza Colio-Warren said all projects requested would be taken into consideration.

According to Colio-Warren, the projects that will be funded meet one or more of the three national objectives, as follows: to benefit low income households or persons, to eliminate slums and blight, or to meet urgent community development needs.

The Winterhaven Water District’s water system will be upgraded and the Winterhaven Fire Station will have a permanent facility with a total cost of $3.3 million of which $1.5 million will come from the grant and the balance from the County.

A portion of the funds will be used to develop and identify areas in need of improvement atcounty libraries such as books, tutoring, etc.

In addition, funds will be used to assist Clinicas de Salud del Pueblo with its Telemedicine Program where patients will have the ability to consult a doctor via Internet.

Funds will also be utilized to aid low-income county residents with relocation costs and utilities in emergency situations and a county-wide neighborhood clean-up program.

Other projects include repairs to the sewer system at Poe Colonia as well as water system improvements, repairs and or replacement of water wells at Palo Verde, and repairs to the Winterhaven treatment plant.

The Imperial County Fire Department will also see improvements with a new radio system and Catholic Charities will be assisted with food, equipment and a vehicle to transport meals.

“We greatly appreciate this grant award from the California Department of Housing and Community Development,” said Colio-Warren.  “This was a highly competitive grant and to have been awarded this much is a testament of the county’s commitment to address the needs of our community. I especially wish to thank our Imperial County Board of Supervisors for their support of this grant opportunity.”