County approves two contracts for Gateway project

January 31, 2001|By RUDY YNIGUEZ, Staff Writer

The county Board of Supervisors on Tuesday approved two contracts for construction management for the ongoing work at the Gateway of the Americas project.

One contract is for $246,386.78 with Douglas E. Barnhart Inc. of San Diego and the other is for $55,000 with Dutton Consulting of San Diego.

Both companies oversee the ongoing sewer and water plants construction.

Gateway landowner John Pierre Menvielle told the board that construction management was paid for once with the now-defunct Tower Construction Co. He asked the board what efforts it will make to recover those costs in the county's pending lawsuit against Tower's surety company.

Menvielle was told by County Counsel Ralph Córdova Jr. that although there is not a line item for that specific money in the county's negotiation with the surety company, the county will make every effort to get all the money it is due from the failed contract with Tower.


In other business, the board received an update on the implementation of the Williamson Act by Lauren Grizzle, executive director of the Imperial County Farm Bureau and the Imperial Valley Vegetable Growers Association.

She said 99 contracts for 37,000 acres have been enrolled in the program. That equates to about $275,000 in tax savings to farmers and $185,000 in state subventions to the county.

The 35 year-old act is voluntary, requires a 10-year commitment and keeps land in agriculture or open space. Each land preserve must be a minimum of 100 acres. While the land that makes up a preserve may be owned by different people, it must be adjacent to other enrolled land, adding up to 100 acres.

In other actions, the board:

l approved sending a letter regarding proposed emergency regulations for power plant siting to the California Energy Commission. The letter was changed to exclude the issues of geothermal plant size and land-use authority;

l approved the submission of a state grant request for Northend youth. The grant would be for youth not "at-risk" in the Brawley, Calipatria and Westmorland schools;

l approved seeking a $200,000 state grant to retrofit irrigation pumps and tractors to make them less polluting. Another $100,000 would come from county state Department of Motor Vehicles surcharge funds.

Staff Writer Rudy Yniguez can be reached at 337-3440.

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