CALEXICO — Assembly Member Eduardo Garcia said he is seeking to more quickly secure the final piece of funding for the Calexico New River Improvement Project through a $15 million to $20 million budget request.
While originally stating the
money likely would not be available until sometime in 2021, Garcia is now
stating publicly that through the budget allocation process the funding could
become available to Calexico sometime in 2020.
Garcia’s office was
contacted to provide more information on the sped-up timeline but did not
provide any further detail. But the statement did mention a two-pronged
approach to getting the funding.
will be pursuing two tracks to obtain funding for the New River Improvement
Parkway, including a $15 million state budget request in January, as well as
ensuring that the same amount is allocated in the climate infrastructure bond
proposal we initiated last legislative session, which, if successful, could go
before voters for approval in the November 2020 election,” Garcia stated Dec. 3
through his communications office.
legislative staffer who spoke on the condition of anonymity indicated a state
budget request could result in money allocations within the 2020-2021 state
the bond process, the staffer indicated the bond measure would require
legislative approval before appearing on the ballot Nov. 3, 2020.
Meanwhile, Assistant Calexico City Manager Miguel
Figueroa has said the city needs between $15 million and $25 million for the
final phase of construction of the New River project.
The currently unfunded portion includes a
trash-screen where the river crosses the border with Mexico, improvements to
Calexico’s wastewater-treatment system to partially clean the New River water,
and undergrounding the part of the river that flows through the city.
The city has the first
$10 million set aside for those improvements, which it received through the
state 2018 Parks and Water Bond Act.
“We welcome the latest
efforts by Mr. Garcia to secure the additional funding we need to complete the
infrastructure projects identified by the New River Strategic Plan for
Calexico,” Figueroa has said.
The Assembly member would
likely have more details available once the legislative session resumes in January,
said Aurora Saldivar, Garcia’s communications director.
Contacted Dec. 3, Figueroa
did not immediately respond for a request for comment on the possibility of
receiving the final funding sooner. However, in a recent email Figueroa
acknowledged he was trying to find out more about Garcia’s new timeline.
The river improvement
project also includes improved parkland along the river, some of which has
already been funded and completed.