County to pave more roads to reduce dust

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(EL CENTRO) – The Board of Supervisors approved Hazard Construction Company’s bid of $1,339,250, as the responsible lowest bid to pave certain county dirt roads. William Brunet, director of public works said there are 1200 miles of unpaved roads and the laying of asphalt was not to ease congestion but mitigate dust.

“We send water trucks out every week, but once a road is paved we don’t have to put water down to alleviate the dust,” Brunet explained. “We are using the stored grindings out by Salton City. People think those piles are just out there doing nothing, but they are being used.”

“They are just doing nothing,” Supervisor Gary Wyatt responded. “They are grindings. They don’t do anything.”

 Brawley Solid Waste Site

The board also voted on a modification agreement with Geosyntec Consultant, Inc for completion of the Brawley Solid Waste Site Final Closure plan.  A serious issue arose when water was found in the gas extraction wells. The county is working to complete the project so as to avoid being fined by another county entity.  Gary Wyatt reminded the others that the county agency regulating the clean-up of the landfill keeps them from getting in trouble with the state whose fines would be more onerous.

“I know a lot of work has been done there over a long period of time,” Wyatt remarked. “The landfill is a ½ mile from my home. Once it is officially closed I look forward to it becoming a regional park or something beautiful and useful.”

County building to be retrofit

The county accepted a grant of $411,742 from FEMA for seismic retrofit of the county administrative building. Supervisor Michael Kelley remembered what the building looked like after the Easter earthquake of 2010. The suspended ceiling gave way and chunks of ceiling littered the floor. He said if the earthquake had happened on a Tuesday morning instead of a Sunday afternoon, many people would have been seriously hurt.

New County Jail

Because Shasta County turned down a grant of $24.1 million in May to build a new county jail due to the increased cost of manning the facility, Imperial County will apply for the funds to complete the new county jail. The county had initially requested $33 million, but were given $24 million. Now they will ask for the final $8 million.

When the facility is finished they will hire 33 more staff to add to the 88 they now employ.