From the daily archives: Wednesday, July 6, 2011

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN PHOENIX HAS ISSUED A

* FLASH FLOOD WARNING FOR… SOUTHWESTERN IMPERIAL COUNTY IN SOUTHEAST CALIFORNIA… THIS INCLUDES THE CITIES OF… PLASTER CITY… OCOTILLO…

* UNTIL 545 PM PDT

* AT 434 PM PDT… FLASH FLOODING WAS LIKELY FROM THUNDERSTORMS OVER THE WARNED AREA. PARTICULARLY IN THE COYOTE MOUNTAINS AND NEARLY PORTIONS OF THE IMPERIAL HIGHWAY OR STATE ROUTE 2 JUST NORTHWEST OF OCOTILLO.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS…

A FLASH FLOOD WARNING MEANS THAT PEOPLE ALONG THE BANKS OF WASHES AND CREEKS SHOULD MOVE TO HIGHER GROUND IMMEDIATELY. NORMALLY DRY WASHES AND STREAMS WILL SUDDENLY HAVE RUNNING WATER AND MAKE UNBRIDGED CROSSINGS IMPASSABLE. STREETS… UNDERPASSES… AND LOW SPOTS WILL BECOME INUNDATED MAKING DRIVING HAZARDOUS IN THE WARNED AREA.

 

Luis Castro with Ulises Cardenas and Rene Felix,from the office of Juan Vargas

By Mario Conde With the start of the new fiscal year, the Calexico City Council made its re-organization this past Tuesday and elected Luis Castro as the new Mayor of Calexico. The Council voted 5-0 to appoint Mayor Luis Castro and Daniel Romero as Mayor Pro Tem at the regular Tuesday meeting. The members of the Council spoke at the meeting on how they have worked as a team to get things done and increase the services for the residents of Calexico. Councilmember Bill Hodge described this council as a very progressive one that is working to get things done.  “I’m proud of what we have accomplished this past year. Are we done yet? Absolutely not, but we will continue to work together to improve our budget and work towards a better Calexico.” Hodge said.  Councilman Hodge congratulated former Mayor John Moreno for his leadership as Mayor and said he learn a lot from him. Councilwoman Maritza Hurtado also congratulated Councilman Moreno for his good work as Mayor and also asked the rest of the Council to support each other and continue working as a team. Outgoing Mayor John Moreno said in his speech that the Council tackled the budget deficit and worked with City staff to get the job done.  He congratulated City Manager Oscar Rodriquez, Victor Carrillo, Finance Director Judy Hashem, and all of the department heads for working towards balancing the City budget for the first time in years. He said the economic development is coming to Calexico and working on such projects like the Grand Plaza, the Casino, and Towncenter Plaza. Incoming Mayor pro Tem Daniel Romero said to be humbled for his appointment to be Mayor Pro Tem and said he looks forward for the upcoming 12 months. Finally, Mayor Luis Castro said the he took a pledge to serve the residents of Calexico and work hard with the Council to increase the services. He said the will work to bring more recreational activities and sports by working with the different City Commissions.  The Calexico Chamber of Commerce hosted a welcome mixer at Applebee’s to welcome the newly re-organized City Council.

 

By Mario Conde

It’s been a hard and difficult road for the City of Calexico these last few years dealing with a big budget deficit but the Council approved a balanced budget last week for the first time in three years.

The Council approved the fiscal year 2011-12 budget were the projected budget revenues for this year will be $17, 686, 773. The budget expenditures will be this year at $17,645 820, that will bring net revenues in this fiscal year to $43,953.

City Manager Oscar Rodriquez said in a lengthy 30 minute report that budget revenues have increased for this year but said that the budget is a living document that will be continue to be worked on and improved as the time goes by. Rodriquez commended finance director and the bargaining units for working and trying to find solutions to this fiscal crisis and said this is not the end but they will continue moving forward.

Rodriquez said that the current property taxes remain flat for this year but have not decline. The projected secured property taxes for 2011-12 will be $1,600,000. In regards to the projected sales tax for the new fiscal years looks very good since its sales tax revenues are going up for the first time in two years. Calexico’s sales tax had a dramatic fall starting in 2008 and reached its low point in the 2009-10 fiscal year. However, this fiscal year has City officials optimistic since the sales taxes are projected to increase to $3.7 million dollars for this year. Public safety will have an increase of 67% in the General Fund appropriations.

Measure H committee approved one million dollars to Police and Fire Services with 60% going to Police and 40% going to Fire Services. This amount would be allocated on a monthly basis or $83,333.00 per month spilt on a 60/40 basis. This allocation will only be for the 2011-12 fiscal year in order to maintain the current service levels from public safety.  The usage of Measure H funding would be used to supplement the cost for materials and supplies budget, as well as other non-personnel cost. By using the Measure H funding this way, public safety will be able to use the available general funds to cover personnel cost and prevent the lay-off or further reduction of public safety personnel, as well as any other services.

The Council congratulated the great work made by City Manager Oscar Rodriquez and his staff to ease the deficit and bring the City into the black. The Council approved the 2011-2012 budget unanimously.

 

SALTON CITY, Calif. – U.S. Border Patrol agents assigned to the Indio station arrested a smuggler yesterday attempting to transport more than $560,000 worth of methamphetamine.

The incident occurred at around 5 a.m., when a Border Patrol canine team alerted to a black-colored Chevy pickup truck at the Highway 86 Checkpoint near Salton City, Calif.  The man that was driving the vehicle is a 37-year-old United States citizen.  After a thorough search of the truck in secondary inspection, agents discovered approximately 18 pounds of methamphetamine hidden under the passenger side seat.

The driver, vehicle and narcotics were turned over to the Drug Enforcement Administration

 

Calexico, Calif. — U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers intercepted over $316,000 in reported U.S. currency during outbound inspections at the Calexico East port of entry yesterday evening.

The incident occurred at about 6 p.m. when officers with the port’s Anti-Terrorism Contraband Enforcement Team were conducting inspections of outbound vehicles and stopped a black 1999 Honda Accord driven by a 22-year-old female U.S. citizen with two passengers, a 26-year-old male Mexican citizen and a 17-year-old female U.S. citizen.

During the secondary inspection, an intensive examination that included the use of a density meter and a detector dog led to the discovery of 11 wrapped packages containing unreported currency hidden inside the right rear quarter panel of the vehicle.

CBP officers arrested the driver, a resident of Cudahy, California, and the passenger, a resident of Culiacan, Sinaloa, and turned them over to the custody of ICE agents for further investigation. The 17-year-old minor was release to the custody of family members.

CBP officers seized the money and vehicle.

It is a federal offense not to declare currency or monetary instruments totaling more than $10,000 to a CBP officer upon entry or exit from the U.S. or to conceal it with intent to evade reporting requirements. Failure to declare may result in seizure of the currency and/or arrest.

 
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