YOU ARE HERE: IVPress HomeCollections

After 4th try, Calexico RDA awards developer $350K

June 06, 2001|By AARON CLAVERIE, Staff Writer

CALEXICO — Turns out the fourth time was the charm for Sam Jack.

After a 3-2 vote Tuesday night, Jack of Indio-based developer Sam Jack and Associates walked out of City Hall here with $350,000 in Redevelopment Agency funds.

His earlier requests for money from the Redevelopment Agency had been turned down twice. Two months ago the board had relented — his third time before them — giving him $75,000 in addition to a $325,000 loan toward the development of low-income housing on the west side of town.

Tuesday, after his fourth time before the board, the new grand total given to Jack rings up to $425,000 plus the $325,000 loan.


Jack said he needs the RDA money because he failed in his attempt when he applied for competitive state tax credits.

"Competition is fierce for tax credits," Jack said.

If Jack secures additional funding from the state due to the recent assistance from the RDA board, the housing development would be built on the vacant lot near William Moreno High School on Kloke Road and would add homes to an area deemed blighted by the city.

To apply for certain state building funds a developer must match the amount of money for which he is applying.

Jack said he was short.

The new deadline he is working on meeting is June 15. Jack told the board he needed the money soon so his staff could put together all of the paperwork.

While all members of the RDA board said they support Jack's project, Javier Alatorre in particular took exception with the last-minute nature of the request.

"I don't see any documentation," Alatorre said. "I don't agree there is no other option (besides asking the RDA for money). Let us as a board be consistent and not make decisions at the last minute without supporting documentation."

Juan Verdugo, the city's economic development director, said he had no other documentation to give the city besides the fact that Jack needs more money.

"I could look into how this would affect other housing projects but I can't give you any more documentation for Mr. Sam Jack's project than I already have," Verdugo said.

Alatorre and Mayor Victor Carrillo made the two dissenting votes.

Councilmen Gilbert Grijalva, Frank Montoya and Mayor Pro Tem John Renison voted to give Jack the money.

Grijalva said the benefit of Jack's project would outweigh the cost. Renison said he didn't like the "11th-hour nature" of the request but agreed that the project was important.

City Treasurer Rudolfo Moreno told the board in no uncertain terms how he felt about their action.

"We're importing people," Moreno said. "We're building low-income homes, not for the people of Calexico, but for people of Mexicali, El Centro and Imperial."

Moreno added: "Gentlemen, this is ridiculous."

Staff Writer Aaron Claverie can be reached at 337-3419.

Imperial Valley Press Online Articles