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Estrada street

April 14, 2002

paving issue

facing Calexico

City Council

By AARON CLAVERIE

Staff Writer

CALEXICO — Before councilmen-elect David Ouzan and Alex Perrone are sworn in Tuesday, the Calexico City Council will meet at 6:30 p.m. Monday in City Hall.

At that meeting, the last in the terms of councilmen Javier Alatorre and Gilbert Grijalva, the council could vote to approve a settlement between the city and Raul Estrada.

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The Calexico landowner has threatened to sue the city because it paved a part of his land behind the Calexico 10 theaters before the title was officially switched to the city.

The city has attempted to broker a settlement. The basic gist of the agreement that has been released to the public is: Estrada would donate land to the city and the city would pay for construction of two streets on that land. The streets would primarily be used by patrons of a hotel and restaurant that could be built on Estrada's land near the theater.

In exchange for the city paying for the streets, Estrada would guarantee to sell the land to the developers and not sue the city.

There is a sticking point in the negotiations.

At the last city Redevelopment Agency meeting, the City Council met in closed session, seated as the RDA board, for almost a half hour. No action was taken.

The problem being discussed in negotiations centers on just how much money, if any, the city should pay above the price Estrada gets when he sells the land to the developers.

According to the agreement on which the council took no action Tuesday, the city would have made sure Estrada got $10 a square foot for the land he sold to the developers.

For instance, if Estrada sold the land for $8 a square foot, the city would have had to pay $2 per square foot to make up the difference.

That agreement could be brought back for a vote Monday or a reworked version could be considered.

Estrada's attorney is requesting a premium price because Estrada is getting no money from the land that he is donating to the city so it can build the street extensions.

At Tuesday's council meeting, Heber-area agricultural businessman Steve Scaroni said the city doesn't have enough money to start making such deals.

>> Staff Writer Aaron Claverie can be reached at 337-3419 or claverie7@hotmail.com.

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