From the monthly archives: June 2013

Holtville Tribune – I.V. Weekly – Calexico Chronicle 06-27-2013


The Calexico City Council met in closed session this past Tuesday and it was decided that the City will defend itself and the parties involved in the complaints done by Mayor Maritza Hurtado.

The complaint is filed with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission against Mayor Pro Tem Bill Hodge and Councilmember’s Joong Kim and Luis Castro since Hurtado feels there has been sexual discrimination against her since she took over as Mayor last December. Councilman John Moreno was the only one that was not added in the complaint.

The Council met in special session this past Tuesday to try to find a resolution to this problem that would be discussed on closed session. Deputy City Attorney Lisa Foster explained that since three of the council members had a conflict of interest since they were part of the complaint, they needed to create a quorum with a drawing that would determine which of the three council members would attend the closed session.

Councilman Joong Kim said he would not participate because they will not gain anything by being there and said he will not participate and having the Attorney misleading them around the law. City Attorney said that if the five council members don’t participate in the drawing than they will not be able to go to closed session.

Councilman John Moreno asked Kim to participate in this since the community is expecting to them to move forward and leave this in the past and said it will be disservice not to participate.

Mayor Pro Tem Hodge also urged Kim to reconsider in order to come to a solution and move on. Hodge told Kim he respects his position but they need in solve this problem immediately. After some consideration and discussion, Councilman Kim decided to participate but said he would do so in protest. The drawing put Council members Kim, Castro, and Moreno as the quorum in closed session. Mayor Hurtado and Mayor Pro Tem Hodge left the meeting afterwards.  Mayor Hurtado clarified that she did not called for this meeting but wanted this resolved.

After roughly 30 minutes in closed session, City Attorney announced that the City will defend itself and the parties involved from the sexual discrimination complaint submitted by Maritza Hurtado.

“I will mediate this process to avoid any more legal spending.” Councilman Moreno said and continued, “I feel we are working towards a spirit of cooperation and I could see that in the majority of the council. We want to put this behind us. Nobody wants to incur more senseless spending but because it’s a complex issue where the city is named in the suit as well, it was advisable to do it this way”


Holtville Tribune -I.V. Weekly – Calexico Chronicle – 06-20-2013



Benefits from Tenaska Imperial Solar Energy Center South Continue to Grow
Photo cutline:The construction of Imperial County’s first-large scale solar project, the Tenaska Imperial Solar Energy Center South near El Centro, Calif., continues to bring benefits. A representative of the project presented a symbolic check for $1 million to the Board of Supervisors at its Tuesday meeting, the third such presentation of local sales tax revenue from Tenaska Imperial South for a total of $2.5 million to date. Shown at the check presentation are (from left): Supervisor Jack Terrazas, Supervisor John Renison, Supervisor Mike Kelley, Tenaska community representative Tom Topuzes, Board Chairman Ray Castillo and Supervisor Ryan Kelley.
EL CENTRO, Calif. — Even as the Tenaska Imperial Solar Energy Center South sends renewable power from the Imperial Valley via the Sunrise Powerlink transmission line to residents and businesses in San Diego, the local benefits from construction of the project continue to grow. Representatives of the solar project, owned by an affiliate of Omaha, Neb.-based Tenaska, presented a second symbolic check for $1 million to Imperial County supervisors at their regular meeting Tuesday.
The presentation was the third Tenaska has made in the county this year, for a total of $2.5 million in local sales tax to date. On March 12, Tenaska Imperial South presented its first $1 million in local sales tax to the county Board of Supervisors. On April 24, Tenaska Imperial South presented $500,000 to the Imperial County Local Transportation Authority (ICLTA), a coalition of representatives of Imperial County and its cities and a significant funding source for transportation improvements in the county.
The new revenue stream for the county and ICLTA is a result of Tenaska’s designation of Imperial County as the point of sale for goods and services, including approximately 2 million solar panels, used to construct Tenaska Imperial South, resulting in millions of dollars in new sales tax revenue.
“Tenaska Imperial South continues to bring many economic benefits to the Imperial Valley,” said Imperial County Executive Officer Ralph Cordova. “Today, we are celebrating $2.5 million in sales taxes paid by the project. That’s significant, and we have more to celebrate. Our residents are benefitting from the hundreds of construction jobs created by the project, and our educators are thrilled with the growth in career opportunities for our young people. Our local businesses have benefited from the more than $20 million in local contracts and supplies for the project. Our fire services are benefiting from payments on a new fire truck and fees to service these projects.”
Tenaska Imperial South has been responsible for a series of firsts in Imperial County:
·       Tenaska was the first solar developer to make a commitment in its conditional use permit to declare Imperial County as the place of purchase for construction goods and services, allowing the county to collect sales tax.
·       Tenaska Imperial South was the first large-scale solar project to begin construction in the county.
·       Tenaska Imperial South was the Imperial Valley’s first large-scale solar energy facility to deliver clean, renewable solar power to SDG&E’s newly completed, 117-mile Sunrise Powerlink transmission line. It is also helping SDG&E meet California’s Renewables Portfolio Standard that requires 33 percent of California’s power be obtained from renewable energy resources by 2020.
In addition to the millions of dollars in local sales tax, Tenaska and its contractor, First Solar, Inc., have worked to maximize hiring of qualified local workers. Of the more than 500 construction workers hired to work at the site to date, 70 percent are from communities in Imperial County, including Brawley, El Centro, Heber, Imperial and Calexico.
Tenaska Imperial South was the recipient of the 2013 Project of the Year Award from Imperial Valley Economic Development Corporation (IVEDC) for its contributions to the region, including working with IVEDC to establish a program to identify and hire qualified local vendors for solar projects in the Imperial Valley. Tenaska Imperial South has awarded contracts to a number of local companies, including Duggins Construction Inc. and Granite Construction.
“It took collaboration from developers, local, state and federal leaders and their staff people to start realizing these benefits from the Tenaska project, and Imperial County is just getting started,” said Robert Ferrara, Tenaska director of development. “We are proud to be delivering on the commitments we made to the county leaders when they approved this project.”
The ground-mounted photovoltaic solar power generating system at Tenaska Imperial South will produce up to 130 megawatts (MW) of electricity under a 25-year power purchase agreement with San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E). Full commercial operation is expected in the second half of 2013. When operating at peak times, it will produce enough electricity to meet the needs of approximately 44,000 California homes.
Tenaska Solar Ventures, LLC (TSV), another affiliate of Tenaska, developed the project. In addition to Tenaska Imperial South, TSV has completed permitting for the Tenaska Imperial Solar Energy Center West near El Centro and continues to evaluate additional opportunities in the Imperial Valley and across the U.S.
Construction of the Tenaska Imperial Solar Energy Center West is expected to begin in 2013, with commercial operation in 2016. The solar power generating system would produce up to 150 MW of electricity under a 25-year power purchase agreement with SDG&E. When operating at peak times, it would produce enough electricity to meet the needs of approximately 55,000 California homes.





Holtville Tribune – I.V. Weekly – Calexico Chronicle 06-06-13

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