Calexico City Council to Look at County Wide Enterprise Zone

By Mario Conde

The Calexico City Council will hear recommendations about the possible new Imperial County Enterprise Zone.

The Calexico County Enterprise Zone and the Imperial Valley Enterprise Zone in Brawley have discussed the possibility of merging into one zone that would include all seven cities and the unincorporated areas of the Imperial County.  If approved, the Imperial Valley EDC could end up being the manager of the County Enterprise Zone.

The CCEZ is composed of the City of Calexico, Imperial County, and Imperial Irrigation District as designated by the State of California in 2006. The agencies contribute approximately $60,000 each towards the annual administrative cost. CCEZ Manager Daniel Fitzgerald told the council that John Nunn, State of California Enterprise Zone Manager, encouraged Imperial County to apply as one zone as this would free up one zone in the State that could be awarded to another jurisdiction. Fitzgerald said if he is given direction by the council to bring information for the deliberation of the Council to accept this merger or not. Deadline to apply for this new designation is August 18, 2010.

Councilman John Moreno said to be opposed to have one designation since El Centro has Imperial Valley Mall and other businesses that create tax revenue for the City. Moreno said Calexico could lose its competitiveness in bringing new industry if there is a valley wide enterprise zone. Moreno made a motion to deny this countywide EZ with Mayor Ouzan seconding the motion. Councilman Daniel Romero said that he had reservations about this countywide designation but after meeting with Daniel Fitzgerald he thinks that a regional effort will be good for the valley. He said that there will be a lot of impact and asked to have all the information presented to the Council before taking a final decision

Councilman Moreno agreed with Romero to have all the information be given to the Council and then vote on the resolution. Moreno said he doesn’t support the Countywide Zoning but agreed to give direction to the CCEZ Manager do research about the pros and cons of this initiative.

Enterprise Zone’s are just taxpayer handouts to businesses. Sure a few small businesses benefit, but the majority of those “newly created jobs” would have been created anyway. This is just a wasteful program that does not deliver the most bang for our taxpayer bucks. The program is full of easily… Read more »

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