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Calexico RDA pledges $1.12 million to Nosotros Park, De Anza gym

June 20, 2001|By AARON CLAVERIE, Staff Writer

CALEXICO — Nosotros Park will be completed and De Anza Middle School could get a long-sought gymnasium.

The City Council, seated as the RDA board, voted 4-1 Tuesday to spend no more than $374,000 to finish the under-construction Nosotros Park on the west side of town. City Councilman Gilbert Grijalva dissented, saying he did not want to allocate so much money to the park.

The board then voted 3-2 to allocate $750,000 toward an application for $1.5 million in state bond money that would pay for a gymnasium at De Anza Middle School.

The gym would be paid for with the $750,000 from the RDA, $750,000 from the Calexico Unified School District and $1.5 million from the state if the district is successful in securing matching funds from state bond money.

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Roberto Moreno, Calexico Unified superintendent, asked the board to help the school district match the $1.5 million to apply for the state money.

By a 3-2 vote the board did.

Councilman Frank Montoya and Gilbert Grijalva voted against the allocation of funds. Mayor Victor Carrillo, Mayor Pro Tem John Renison and City Councilman Javier Alatorre voted for the allocation.

Montoya asked Moreno how the use of the facility would be divvied up.

Moreno said the gym would be used by De Anza students during school hours and events and the city would have access the rest of the time.

Grijalva took exception to the amount the RDA board was planning to spend, not to the project itself.

He castigated staff for failing to include pertinent financial information along with the district's request.

He asked staff at the meeting, "We got some money awhile back for the school district. How much money is left in that account?"

There was no answer.

Moreno told the council, "There is about $200,000 left in that account."

"We need to have that information before we spend this much money," Grijalva said. "I've asked staff before to have this sort of documentation ready. This is really starting to piss me off."

Alatorre said, "This (the $750,000) is only 25 percent of the project and I support it for the community."

Moreno said the deadline for applying for the competitive state funds is June 30.

He should know by October if the district and the RDA were successful.

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

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