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Board of Supervisors to receive update on its trade application

July 09, 2001|By RUDY YNIGUEZ, Staff Writer

The county Board of Supervisors on Tuesday will receive an update on the county's application to be designated a foreign trade zone.

Foreign trade zones are part of a 65-year-old federal program run by the Department of Commerce in which areas of the United States are set aside to allow businesses — likely warehouses and assembly plants — to operate without paying U.S. customs duties.

More than 200 foreign trade zones exist in the country, including one at every major port of entry along the 2,000-mile U.S.-Mexico border, other than the existing ports in Calexico.

The designation is reportedly a cash flow benefit in the sense that companies are allowed to import goods into the zone, modify the goods and not pay import taxes on them until they leave the zone.

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The foreign trade zone issue first went before the county supervisors in June 1995, when the board was told by an outside expert the cost of the effort would be about $79,000 and take 12 to 18 months to receive the designation. The county has been considering seeking the designation since 1991.

The board meets in open session at 9:30 a.m. Tuesday in the County Administration Center, 940 W. Main St., El Centro.

The board will also consider taking action to levy special taxes on La Jolla-based Los Alamos Land Company's Gateway of the Americas project land to pay for infrastructure.

The Board of Supervisors is also scheduled to hold a public hearing at 1:30 p.m. to consider an appeal by El Centro attorney John F. Lenderman regarding the awarding of a seniors legal services contract by the Area Agency on Aging. The $25,956 contract was awarded to San Diego-based Elder Law and Advocacy/Progressive Social Services Systems Technology.

According to AAA meeting minutes, its committee that reviewed the two bids scored Elder Law above Lenderman, and reportedly found that Lenderman's bid omitted a budget. In a June 14 letter, Lenderman seeks to appeal the decision.

He said his "bid is superior to the one accepted in that more services are to be provided each and every business day by an attorney as opposed to once a week and the outreach services are superior."

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

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