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Calexico approves loan to help developer pay school fees

March 01, 2002|By AARON CLAVERIE, Staff Writer

CALEXICO — To help a developer pay Mello-Roos fees, the City Council here, seated as the city Redevelopment Agency board, voted unanimously to give a $400,000 loan to James Schmid of Solana Beach-based Chelsea Investment Corp.

Schmid's corporation plans to build one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments on Meadows Avenue south of Cole Road.

Since the 80 units would be built to accommodate families with school-age children, the developer is being forced to pay more than $750,000 in Mello-Roos fees to the Calexico Unified School District.

Ralph Morales, the city's interim economic development director, told the council, "We were approached by Jim Schmid. He asked for a $400,000 loan in funds that have already been approved."

Morales was referring to a years previous allocation by the RDA board of $400,000 for a senior citizen's complex Schmid's corporation was building.


It turns out Schmid didn't need the $400,000 for the senior citizen housing project.

After hearing from Morales, the four board members voted to erase the allocation for the senior project and pencil in a loan for the multi-family project.

Mayor Victor Carrillo said, "I want to compliment Mr. Schmid for bringing back the money allocated for the last project. It's a tribute to the high-quality work of his company. Calexico has benefited from the type of projects you put forward."

Mayor Pro Tem John Renison said, "He didn't mislead us. When he asked for the $400,000 he said it would just be a back-up. He came through like he said he would."

Schmid said, "Thank you."

After he left, three members of the RDA board voted to pay $25,000 to install a sound-system at Rodney Auditorium on San Diego State University-Imperial Valley campus.

Before the vote, Councilman Gilbert Grijalva asked Renison, "Can we get a plaque?"

Renison, director of advancement for the campus, said nothing.

"I have to abstain from this vote," he said.

After the vote, he said, "Sure" to Grijalva's request.

Earlier in the meeting, the board voted to pay for an appraisal of land near the New River that Los Angeles developers want to buy to build a shopping mall.

Renison said the developers have informally offered to pay for the $12,000 appraisal themselves. But, "If they don't pay for it, we pick it up. That's my motion," Renison said.

That motion was approved.

Once the land is appraised, negotiations between the city and the developers can move forward. The city owns plots of land across near the New River and downtown Port of Entry on which the developers want to build

Earlier in the evening, the City Council held a brief council meeting. Carrillo appointed Maria Elena Ramirez to the Housing Authority board.

Ramirez is the wife of Antonio Ramirez, president of the Casas del Sol housing projects. Antonio Ramirez had been an outspoken critic of the man his wife replaces on the board, John Romo.

In closed session, the council heard from City Attorney Michael Rood about the possibility of lawsuit regarding development of Raul Estrada's land near the Calexico 10 theaters.

After the session, Rood said direction was given and outside counsel would be brought in.

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

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