‘Home, jobs and training' theme fails to convince

November 15, 2001

Calexico City Council to allocate cash to CCAC


CALEXICO — Jaime Legaspi of the Calexico Community Action Council told the City Council here numerous times that if it gave the CCAC nearly $1 million outright and allocated more than $1 million in state funds to its developer partner in guaranteed loans, low-income families of Calexico would get homes, jobs and training.

The "homes, jobs and training" theme Legaspi repeated during a 40-minute turn at the podium didn't sway the council, seated as the city Redevelopment Agency board, enough Tuesday for it to allocate the cash, but the board did give direction to city staffers to look into the proposal.

The CCAC wants to partner with the city, a developer and a manufacturer of pre-fabricated homes to build 62 housing units north of William Moreno Junior High and south of the All-American Canal.


The landowner, Calexico Partners LLC, hopes to "strike a deal" by early spring, according to Legaspi.

Linda Barrientos of the city Economic Development Commission, also a real estate agent, grilled Legaspi on the details of the proposal. She wanted to know the price of the homes.

Legaspi said with the city's help, $157,000 pre-fabricated homes (homes made in a factory) would sell for $121,000.

Rudolfo Moreno, city treasurer, took to the podium and told the agency board that other developers in town were selling homes for $125,000 and $115,000 "without subsidies."

He asked why Legaspi was bringing this before the agency board as an action item when the staff had not reviewed it yet.

"I may not like Mr. Inman (City Manager Richard Inman), but he's a good man and should have a chance to look this over," Moreno said.

Inman said, "For once I agree with Rudolfo Moreno."

"Finally," Moreno shot back from his council chambers seat.

After a hearty laugh and some more impassioned pleading from Legaspi, the agency board voted unanimously to have Inman and staffers look into the benefits and risks of the proposal.

Earlier in the meeting, the board heard a presentation from R.W. Beck of Seattle, an engineering and consulting group.

Richard Zaragoza of Beck said there is a 90 percent chance "his bankers" will finance the piping and covering of a stretch of the highly polluted New River from the border to Highway 98.

The agency board paid Beck $150,000 to solicit humanitarian loans to address the New River.

Zaragoza said, "I think it's going to happen, gentlemen."

Zaragoza said Calexico and the New River committee should find out by the end of the month if it has been awarded millions in "free money."

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

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