CALEXICO — In what appeared to be one of the busier Calexico City Council meetings since the pandemic began, the council was being asked to decide on several major public infrastructure projects in some process of development on May 20.
Among the projects was setting a list for the next fiscal year to be funded under Senate Bill 1 funds, approving a sizeable change order to the Cordova Park baseball field-fencing project and awarding a bid for a major sewer-line replacement project.
In a separate but no less important issue, the council was to consider reorganizing its community services division into two separate departments.
The meeting was to occur after this newspaper’s deadline.
And the Million-Dollar Bid Goes To …
After receiving two substantially different qualifying bids, the council was being asked May 20 to select A&R Construction of Brawley to move forward on a project to replace major sections of the city’s main sewer line.
With only two qualifying bids received by the late April deadline, A&R came in at $1.06 million, compared to Pyramid Construction and Aggregates Inc. of Heber at $3.05 million, according to a report to the council by Public Works Manager Lilliana Falomir.
The project calls for the replacement of 8-inch and 4-inch gravity-fed sewer main pipelines and adjacent sewer lateral pipelines at Paulin Avenue between Seventh and 10th streets, at Dool Avenue between Fifth and Seventh streets, and at Beach Avenue between Fifth and Seventh streets.
Cost for the project was already part of the current fiscal 2019-2020 budget and will come from wastewater enterprise funds as part of the budget’s capital improvement program, according to Falomir’s report.
Change Order Change Up at Cordova Park
Due to what Falomir described in her report to the council as a “shortage of staff” in the Public Works Department, city administration was asking the council to sign off on a nearly $40,000 change order for a $167,750 fencing project at the Cordova Park Little League baseball fields.
Essentially, the change order is not for unforeseen costs; rather, it’s adding the cost of doing work at the ball fields that was initially to be done in-house by public works staff.
The initial contract with Crafters Fence Inc. of Santee was to install fencing around baseball fields at Adrian C. Cordova Park on Clinton Avenue between Zapata and Meadows drives, according to Falomir’s report.
However, the change would bring the new contract to $207,650 by adding the cost of installing six roof structures on dugouts at three baseball fields.
The additional $39,900 will come from the same source as the initial contract — a several-years-old Measure H half-cent sales-tax bond already budgeted in the current fiscal year under capital improvement projects. The initial contract was awarded March 18.
Gas-Tax Projects ID’d for 2020-21
To gain access to Calexico’s portion of state Senate Bill 1: Road Repair and Accountability Act funding for road-infrastructure projects, the council must adopt a resolution identifying a list of projects that would be funded through the gas tax.
The resolution would be for an estimated total of $796,987 for the three projects in fiscal 2020-2021, which starts July 1. The projects would be for improvements at Weakley and Scaroni roads and for the widening of the Second Street bridge, according to a report to the council by Falomir. Construction on all three projects would occur in 2021.
The Weakley Road project involves a section of fully rebuilt streets and the installation of curbs, gutters and sidewalks and traffic controls and utilities relocation in the northern section of the city. Weakley is an east-west lateral road between Cole Boulevard and Camacho Road just west of Highway 111/Imperial Avenue.
The same type of work is slated for Scaroni Road, a north-south lateral that runs just parallel and to the immediate west of Highway 111/Imperial Avenue, also in the area of Cole Boulevard in the northern reaches of the city.
The Second Street bridge-widening is to expand the roadway and make improvements to the bridge where Second Street/Anza Road crosses the New River just west of the new downtown Port of Entry. Second Street in the southern part of the city runs mostly parallel (east-west) with the border west of Imperial Avenue/Highway 111.
Divvying Up Community Services Department
Around a decade or more ago, the library, recreation department and cultural arts center were all folded together under the aegis of the Community Services Department and put under the leadership of then-librarian Sandra Tauler.
However, after Tauler’s retirement last year, the various functions and departments she oversaw have been split among different managers and staff members. The council was being asked May 20 to make the new division official by permanently splitting up the department and placing it under a set structure of management that would create two new management positions instead of the community services director, Tauler’s former post.
Under the retooled department would come the creation of a library manager position overseeing the Enrique “Kiki” Camarena Memorial Library and the Carnegie Technology Center, and the creation of a recreation manager overseeing recreation and the Carmen Durazo Cultural Arts Center, according to a new organizational structure prepared for the council by city Human Resources Manager Denise Garcia.
The two new departments would also create subsequent new support staff positions to be filled by existing employees with changed job titles, Garcia’s report indicated.
Garcia’s report said there will be a negligible effect on the city’s general fund, “compared to the current structure.”
Lizeth Legaspi currently oversees the library and Norma Gerardo currently oversees the recreation department. It wasn’t immediately known whether they would continue in those roles but be made official by the May 20 decision.
Watch the Calexico Council Meeting Online Livestreamed May 20, the recorded Calexico City Council meeting will be available to watch online on the city’s website on May 21 on calexico.thepublicspectrum.org/