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Inman gets the order to fix Cole Road

September 19, 2001|By AARON CLAVERIE, Staff Writer

CALEXICO — Every member of the Calexico City Council expressed disgust with the condition of Cole Road and gave City Manager Richard Inman direction to fix it.

Inman said the first step would be an overlay of the road and in four to five months full construction would begin, including widening and repaving.

In addition to discussing Cole Road at Tuesday's meeting, the council approved an ordinance limiting the city's liability in case of an accident at any city-owned skate park.

Councilman Frank Montoya led the discussion of Cole Road when he said, "Gentlemen. I think we have a problem there."

He continued: "It is an extremely dangerous road to drive. We at least need a temporary overlay to fill in the holes.


"It's going to cost money but after all, what is a life worth?" Montoya asked.

Cole Road is one of the city's busiest thoroughfares. The road starts at an intersection with Highway 98 in northeast Calexico and shoots straight through Highway 111 to Eady Road in northwest Calexico.

It carries truck traffic from Mexico, Mexicali residents en route to Wal-Mart and Hometown Buffet and local residents to homes off Meadows Road.

Mayor Victor Carrillo said a car recently swerved into his lane as he was driving on Cole near Meadows Road. On the section of the road he was referring to, a 2-foot-wide sunken indentation spans the road. On the eastbound side of the road the indentation is more severe and causes a jarring hit to a vehicle's chassis.

Councilman Javier Alatorre asked Inman if Public Works Director Mariano Martinez could provide in writing a summary of his efforts at solving the problem. Alatorre said people were asking him what the council was doing about the situation.

Mayor Pro Tem John Renison said, "We're saying do it now. It's a thorn in my side."

"Urgent," added Montoya.

"Urgent. Right," Renison said. "We've got to take the bulls by the horns here."

"It's a major concern," said Councilman Gilbert Grijalva.

Carrillo and the council told Inman to make sure the proper signs are posted warning residents of potholes until they are fixed.

Later the board discussed the skate park planned for Nosotros Park. City Attorney Michael Rood recommended passing the urgency ordinance because the park might be ready for skating by October. He said doing so would allow the city to limit its liability in the case of an accident at the park.

Rood stressed that only children with proper safety equipment would be allowed to skate in the park but Inman said that the skaters would have a responsibility to police themselves.

"They are going to close the park. We won't," Inman said.

Alatorre said children need to be told about the safety requirements of the new park and advocated a system that would utilize the school district.

Grijalva said the council needed to take the lead and put the regulations in the water bills.

"People need to know what this rule (self-policing) implies," he said.

He asked Rood if the park would be safer and the city less liable if an adult was always present.

Rood said the city would have different legal responsibilities and could be sued if the supervision was negligent.

He said the self-policing regulations allow the city to take advantage of statewide immunities that protect a city from lawsuits concerning city property.

The council unanimously approved the urgency ordinance.

The council then discussed the legality of providing monetary assistance to the firefighters and rescue workers on the East Coast.

Rood said "we all agree a donation should be made" but he said the council can't spend city funds unless it could prove that sending money could help the citizens of Calexico.

In a compromise hatched of a conversation between Rood and Inman, the council decided to donate public space and services to the Calexico Fire Department for a carne asada barbecue Saturday that would benefit the firefighters of New York City.

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

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