Impreial County Becomes Recovery Zone

By Mario Conde

The County Board of Supervisors approved a resolution designating Imperial County as Federal Recovery Zone in order to be eligible for Federal Funding.

With this action the County intends to apply for money from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 for the purpose of issuing Recovery Zone Facility Bonds and Recovery Zone Economic Development Bonds. The County intends to get these bonds that are tax-exempt bonds that may be used by private businesses or non-profit organizations to finance a broad range of projects.

The federal government allocated $1.2 Billion in funds for cities and counties and these bonds must be issued before January 2011.

The County will seek Recovery Zone Economic Development bonds that allow States and local government to obtain lower cost borrowing cost through a new direct federal payment subsidy for 45% of the interest to finance a long range of Economic Development projects. This bond cannot be issued to private developers or businesses. IVEDC director Tim Kelley said that if the County is giving this grant the Imperial Valley could be more attractive to investors since they would promote for incentives for economic development.

Kelley said that Imperial Valley lacks of these incentives to bring new investments to the County and that is something that other entities provide to them.

In other news, the Board adopted the plans and specifications for Gateway of the Americas County Service Area Sewer Treatment Plan expansion as requested by the County Public Works director. The County approved an agreement with GSA for their east border stations facility connect their sewer system to the Gateway to the Americas sewer distribution system. In order to accommodate GSA proposed 15,000 gallon a day from east border station the plant must be upgraded to Phase II to increase sewer capacity from 31,000 to 100,000. GSA will pay $515, 757 for the cost of this project.