CALEXICO — This city and the New River Committee won't know until mid-January if R.W. Beck Inc. has secured more than $40 million in humanitarian funds to cover and line a section of the New River from the border to Highway 98, according to Imperial Irrigation District Director Rudy Maldonado.
For the few weeks leading up to the holiday season, Beck's Richard Zaragoza was called for updates on the status of the negotiations with a coalition of bankers that Zaragoza said was considering granting millions of dollars to a non-profit organization established by the New River Committee.
The city's Redevelopment Agency paid Beck, based in Seattle, $150,000 to lobby international bankers for humanitarian grants.
Bankers — in association with charitable private corporations — fund "humanitarian" projects for positive publicity and tax reasons.
Every time he was contacted, Zaragoza said he was waiting by the fax machine for written confirmation from "my bankers."