Board of Supervisors listen to report on Brawley displaced earthquake victims

Esperanza Colio, Community & Economic Development manager reported that the county is housing 22 families in hotels after the earthquake swarms damaged their homes.

El Centro, Ca – Esperanza Colio, Community & Economic Development manager, reported to the Board of Supervisors on the displaced Brawley earthquake families. Twenty two families are housed in hotels, 17 are from condemned mobile homes, 2 from damaged apartments, and three from Calipatria. The board agreed to sign contracts with Ericson-Grant Inc, and the Holt Group on an as needed basis for Construction Management Services. They are doing a case by case analysis of repair the existing mobile home versus purchase a new unit.

Colio said that the $75,000 for the displaced families appeared to be sufficient in meeting their day by day needs and that their department still receives 1-2 calls a day. “Sometimes they are new people who want us to check the soundness of their homes, most the time the calls are follow-up calls on earlier needs.”  

During board comments, Supervisor Wyatt, District 4, informed the board that this month the Delta Stewardship Council (DSC) released its proposed Final Draft Delta Plan. Wyatt, who sits on the state Regional Council of Rural Counties (RCRC), adamantly stated that all water issues are important to the valley.

“The RCRC shows us all water is tied together. All water comes from rural areas and the only way for urban areas to get water is to reduce water to the farms. Urban legislators vote for water to help their constituents and to alleviate environmental issues. So, even decisions on the northern delta set precedent for water use.”

Ray Castillo, District 5, announced the border has added a motorcycle lane for those crossing from Mexico into the U.S.  “This will help with flow and ensure safety to motorcycle drivers.”

John Renison, District 1, added that a kiosk is planned along with improved pedestrian lanes at the border crossing. The wait to cross the border hovers from 45 minutes to 4 hours. Without shade in triple digit temperatures, border crossing health dangers for those on foot has caught the federal homeland security’s attention. One million dollars are designated to make a three to four lane pedestrian entry.

Renison admitted the hurdles on getting the project moving. “Don’t hold your breath. It may be 6 months to a year before the feds move on this, but our letter to Loretta Sanchez, who sits on the homeland security committee, has brought her attention to our situation and she may move this along faster.”

Jack Terrazas, District, 2, learned this week that $70 million dollars are lost to the Imperial Valley each year from delays at the New Calexico port.

The board also approved federal funding of $335,000 for a dedicated right turn lane at the intersection of Worthington and Cooley.  They also authorized the Clerk of the Board to advertise for formal bits to be opened on October 26, 2012.

The board voted to move their next meeting due to meeting conflicts from the regular time slot of Tuesday at 8:30 am to next Monday, October 1st at 11:30 am.