Voice: Warehousing may be the way to go in Imperial County

October 22, 2001

As a recent full-time resident of Imperial County and a new subscriber to the Imperial Valley Press, I've been reading with interest your articles about, and many local politicians comments on, the declining state of the county's economy. It seems to be all gloom and doom and the county's reputation as one of the poorest in the state doesn't help. I think local leaders need to look at the assets we have and try to make these assets work more productively for us.

A perfect example would be that of a recent article in the San Diego Union-Tribune on the Ontario area's burgeoning warehousing business. Apparently, business is so good there that homeowners are now trying to limit the growth of the industry.

Ontario is strategically located for this kind of business. Ports in Long Beach and Los Angeles provide the flow of goods to distribute throughout the U.S. Ontario is also near rail lines and many of California's major freeways that distribute goods north and east across the country. The area seem to have an abundance of open, flat land available for construction. Hey! It sounds a lot like Imperial County to me!


We have the port of San Diego due west and the Mexican ports to the south. We have a major freeway east and reasonably quick access to freeways north. We will soon have a new congressman in Bob Filner who supports the reopening of the rail line, a rail line that has the potential to become a major east west shipping route. And, we do have a lot of flat land last time I looked!

If Imperial County had only 25 percent of the volume of warehousing business that's just an hour north of us, along with the substantial tax base it provides San Bernardino and Riverside counties, it would be a major shot in the arm for our local economy.

Our government officials need to visit the Ontario area. They need to talk to some of the commercial developers there and sell them on the idea of looking at Imperial County as a viable alternative.

We're not going to develop tourism with ski lodges in the Jacumba mountains or have visitors surfing the Salton Sea anytime soon … unless the polar icecaps melt and the earth's axis shifts. But we do have assets here in Imperial County and we do need to start taking more advantage of them.



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