EL CENTRO – The Imperial County Board of Supervisors conducted a public hearing on January 11, during the regular board meeting and unanimously voted to approve two programs; Neighborhood Cleanups and Public Service Program after receiving input from community members and the Community and Economic Development Department.
Previously the County received a grant through the California Department of Housing and Community Development to fund six activities; Heber Community Center, Seeley Housing Rehabilitation, Seeley Wastewater Treatment Plant Improvements, Palo Verde Potable Water System Improvements, Winterhaven Water/Sewer System Improvements, and Neighborhood Cleanups Programs.
“The Seeley Housing Rehabilitation Program estimated at a $360,000 cost did not have a successful outcome due to the factors beyond our control which included, zoning, property title issues and families with a higher mortgage debt to property value, preventing the participation of our targeted community members,” explained Esperanza Colio, Community and Economic Development manager. “Instead of giving this money back to the State we began to search for alternatives in ways to utilize the funds and came up with the Neighborhood Cleanups and the Public Service Program,” said Colio.
Neighborhood Cleanups will be performed in the cities of Desert Shores, Salton Sea Bach, Seeley and Palo Verde, and will be conducted by an outside consultant who will provide services for one week in each of the listed communities.
The Public Service Program will provide food vouchers, rent and utilities to income eligible senior citizens, homeless persons, and severely disabled adults living in the unincorporated areas of Imperial County. This program will also assist eligible families and individuals that have lost their hoes due to natural disasters or fires.
The County will allocate $300,000 to the Neighborhood Cleanups Program and $60,000 to the Subsistence Payment Program from the remaining grant funds.
According to State guidelines the board must conduct a public hearing and receive input from the community prior to taking any action.
“We really need this assistance and would appreciate if you would consider and approve the Public Service Program. This program will be very beneficial to many senior citizens,” said Theresa Estrada, Heber Senior Program Coordinator.
Ron Wood and Palo Verde resident presented the board with 100 signatures from other community members who support the Public Service Program and asked the program be approved.
The approved programs will be sent to the California Department of Housing and the Community Development, and ask they incorporate both programs into the grant. Upon receiving the approval from the California Department of Housing the services will begin and must be completed by April 30.