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Calipatria takes step toward approving Turning Point home

January 09, 2002|By MARIO RENTERIA, Staff Writer

CALIPATRIA — The City Council here approved a resolution that accepts the recommendation from the city Planning Commission approving of Turning Point, a Christian-based program for young men with "life-controlling problems," opening a home in the city.

The council also voted Tuesday to keep in place a restriction set by an earlier council that keeps Case Towing of Niland from entering into a contract with the city.

The Calipatria Planning Commission about two months ago approved a permit submitted by Turning Point that would allow it to operate a home in a residential area. According to the resolution, the project complies with the residential zoning use for the area.

The council Tuesday voted 3-2 to accept the Planning Commission's recommendation. Councilmen Robert Nakadaira, Royal Sage and councilwoman Thelma Baker voted in favor while councilman Leonard Vasquez and Mayor Fred Beltran voted against.


Turning Point plans to open a home at 340 S. Park Ave. The home belongs to Calipatria Community Church and is being offered to Turning Point for free. Turning Point has two homes operating in Holtville.

City Attorney Bill Smerdon told the council if it had wanted to appeal the Planning Commission's finding it should have done so within 10 days of the commission's decision.

Smerdon said if council wished to reject the project it must find compelling evidence that proves the home would have a negative impact on the city and its residents. While residents may not approve of it, no outstanding evidence has been produced against the establishment of the home.

He also told the council if it denies the permit, the city could be sued.

In the Case Towing issue, the Calipatria City Council in 1998 set a restriction on the city Police Department that keeps it from entering into a contract with Case.

Case Towing and Hot Spot Towing had provided the city service and maintenance for police patrol units and towing service for vehicles the department impounded or stored. Both towing companies were on a one-month rotation basis before the council severed its relationship with Case in a dispute.

Police Chief Reggie Gomez told a reporter he is satisfied with the services provided to the department by Tucker Towing of Brawley and Dickerson Towing of Westmorland. The towing companies work on monthly rotation basis.

The council voted 3-2 to keep the restriction against Case in place. Nakadaira, Vasquez and Beltran voted in favor. Sage and Baker voted against.

In other city business:

· The council unanimously approved a resolution that allows the city to receive $10,000 from the Imperial Valley Associated Government for replacement of sidewalks and installment of handicapped ramps and ribbon gutters along Main Street from Lake Street to International Street.

The city applied for a grant from IVAG for the project and it was approved. IVAG allocated $10,000 of $126,000 available to the city of Calipatria for the project.

The total cost of the project will be about $29,500. The rest of the money will come from the city.

>> Staff Writer Mario Renteria can be reached at 337-3435.

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