By Mario Conde

The Calexico City Council authorized the allocation of funds for the mandatory local match to apply and secure federal and state grants for the completion of Cesar Chavez Blvd/Calexico West Port of Entry improvements.

The City is seeking federal and state grants to obtain the additional funding necessary to construct the Cesar Chavez Blvd. Corridor Congestion Improvement Project. As part of the requirements of available grants a local match is mandated for a minimum of twenty percent of the project cost. The preliminary estimated project cost is $8,520,000. The City has secured a grant for $2.8 Million Dollars.

The approval of the allocation of the estimated local mandatory match using Measure D funds for $1,200,000 is necessary in order to apply and secure Federal/State Funds for up to $4,536,000 to complete the project. City Staff has been working with Imperial County Transportation Commission and Caltrans to coordinate the efforts to obtain the subject grants to fund the project.

The City if moving forward with this project regardless to the elimination of funding for the new West Port of Entry was nixed by U.S. Congress last month. As reported by the Calexico Chronicle last year, the subject improvements will include traffic signals, sidewalks, left turn pockets, road shoulder, and street markings. This project is an attempt to mitigate traffic congestion and make it safe for pedestrians when the new port of entry is completed.

In other items, the Council approved a resolution to apply for CDBG funding for contribution for the planning and Technical Assistance studies activities; for an application requesting a total of $105,000 in funding be submitted for the following activities: Business Infrastructure Needs Assessment $35,000, Master Plan for Street Improvements $35,000, and Exterior Housing Conditions survey $35,000.

Finally, Councilman Bill Hodge asked the Council to have summit with the different youth sports organization and meet with the City Manager and other department heads and hear their concerns and suggestion on how to improve recreation in Calexico. Councilman Hodge felt that they should capitalize the momentum since the council is taking action in recreation with the pool and the parks. The Council agreed with Hodge’s proposal and will have the meeting through the Calexico Recreation Commission. The City will have meeting regarding and update of the pool and some recreation grants that the City is currently working right now.

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