By Mario Conde

The Calexico City Council gave the green light to the application of grant money to improve parks in Calexico.

The State of California Department of Parks and Recreation, Office of Grant and Local Services has provided notice of Funding Availability under proposition 84. The Statewide park program legislation requires projects to meet six eligibility requirements. Projects cannot be funded unless all six requirements are met. The requirements are, critical lack of park space or significant poverty, type of project, safe public use, sustainable techniques, project funding, fee and hours of operation.

The City will apply for $ 3, 194, 00 dollars for the Adrian Cordova Memorial Park expansion project, $2 million dollars in funding for Crummett Park, and $2,051,000 for Castulo Rodriguez Park.  Councilmember Bill Hodge made a statement regarding Crummett Park saying that if these funds arrive in Calexico he would be in favor of eliminating the fence at the park. Hodge said that it’s a public park and should be open for everybody.

In other news, the council approved tentative labor agreements with the Calexico Municipal Employees Association, Calexico City Supervisors, Certified operators, and Calexico Firefighters Association.

This comes after months of negotiations with the labor groups in Calexico. City Manager Oscar Rodriquez said that the labor groups came to the table and worked to have a solution. Rodriquez mentioned that the dialogue will continue with the unions in order to continue with the communication regarding the state of the city.  The labor agreements approved by the Council last Tuesday calls for the layoff of temporary and part-time employees in Calexico.

The council took this action last year but some of the fired employees came back after the City terminated the On Site Labor contract that provided staffing for Calexico in favor of returning union employees that were released.

The Calexico Firefighters will have not have furloughs, instead, they will now work a 24 day work cycle in order to reduce the overtime problems that the department has been facing lately. The city now has to present its 2011-12 budget and could be presented next.

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