EL CENTRO – The Imperial County Board of Supervisors approved unanimously 5-0 the recommendations made by the Public Benefit Program Community Advisory Committee to allocate $2 million in 2016 in revenue from solar projects and distribute the funds into various categories during the Feb. 9 board meeting.
Earlier this year, the supervisors appointed five public members to the Public Benefit Program Community Advisory Committee. Since that time, the committee has been meeting for the purpose of formulating recommendations to the board for implementing the Community Benefit Program.
Imperial County Community and Economic Development Manager Esperanza Colio-Warren provided the board with a breakdown of fund allocations as follows:
- 60% ($1,200,000) will be allocated to Community Services including animal shelters, arts and cultural programs, the library, nutrition programs, transportation and support services, science and technology educational programs, homeless programs, parks and recreations and scholarship programs.
- 30% ($600,000) will be allocated to Community and Economic Development. This includes technical training, infrastructure in support of business development, entrepreneurial training, small business/micro loans, infrastructure support on housing, parks and recreations, housing projects, community center and youth programs.
- 10% ($200,000) will be allocated to Wildlife Habitat/Conservation, which includes fishing and hunting-related activities, habitat, the Imperial County Fish and Game Commission and waterways within the county.
Additionally, 10% of allocations in each category will be reserved for supplementary funding for projects requiring additional consideration or information.
According to Imperial County Deputy CEO Andy Horne, the distributions can be adjusted at any time in any category.
The Committee held 11 workshops in late 2015 throughout the county for the purpose of seeking public comments on the project categories and funding allocations.
The Board of Supervisors plans to implement the program soon and will begin sending notices out to the community advising when applications can be submitted.