Heffernan Grant Agreement Saves Calexico Fire Station
BY MARIO CONDE
The Calexico City Council accepted a grant agreement between the Heffernan Memorial Healthcare District for funding of the Calexico Firefighters and Fire Station No. 2
At the joint meeting of March 6, 2017 between the Heffernan Memorial Healthcare District and the City of Calexico, the HMHD voted to approve a grant to the Firefighter/Paramedic/EMT/ Fire Station No. 2 in the amount of $557,092.00 for the purpose of funding the City of Calexico’s Ambulance and Paramedic services provided to the residents. This grant funding will also provide for the continued operation of the Fire Station No. 2 located at Grant Street.
The City of Calexico is currently in a deficit and requires the $557,092.00 to continue the operation of Fire Station No. 2 and the ambulance services to the residents of Calexico. Without this funding, the City would have to close station 2 and release six employees.
The City and the Calexico Fire Fighters Association reached an impasse in their negotiations since the Association was not able to get the sworn documents from last year that proves the current financial status of the City.
The City of Calexico and the Calexico Fire Fighters Association have yet to reach an agreement in their labor negotiations.
Last month, six firefighters received a thirty day layoff notice from City Manager Armando Villa stating that as a result of the City of Calexico’s shortage of funds and significant crisis for the City, a number of positions have been designated for layoff in order to close the budget deficit.
Several members of the community expressed their disagreement with the City and the direction they are taking and have pressured the council not to go forward with the layoffs.
The Heffernan Memorial Board offered to help the Fire Department and asked the City to have a joint meeting where they would consider giving a grant to offset the budget cuts need from the fire department.
In other news, the City Council awarded a bid proposal from R.E. Schultz Construction, Inc. in the amount of $202,445. On February 21, 2017, City of Calexico solicited bids for Miguel Cortez Park Rehabilitation improvements. The project shall include replacement of basketball court backboards, goals, lightning and resurface court area, installation of automated irrigation system, replacement of one playground equipment and safety surfacing, picnic tables, six benches and six trash receptacles with concrete slab.
Cortez Park was established in June 9, 1979 and is located at the corner of Giles and Second Street.