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Supervisors approve joint-use facility — barely

May 08, 2002|By LAURA MITCHELL

Staff Writer

County staff and county Office of Education Superintendent John Anderson barely convinced the county Board of Supervisors on Tuesday to apply for a grant that will pay for half of the construction of a joint-use facility.

The board approved the project 3-2 at its regular meeting, with Supervisors Joe Maruca and Gary Wyatt voting no.

Wyatt was a school board member in Brawley and Maruca was a local school superintendent before they became county supervisors.

Maruca said he voted against the agreement because he thinks it's not a good business move.

"It will be the most expensive meeting training facility in the world," he said after the meeting.

Anderson said the project will benefit students and staff from the Office of Education and the county.

If the grant is approved, the state will pay the majority of the costs to build the $2 million multi-purpose, joint-use facility. The county and the Office of Education will split the rest of the costs at $450,000 each.

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A number of county department directors support the project, saying they need a large meeting facility.

Jim Semmes of the Department of Social Services, Mike Horn of Behavioral Health Services, Sam Couchman of the Office of Employment Training, Yvonne Smith of Public Health Services and George Holbrook of the Family Support Department wrote a letter to the board stating they would support the project with money from their departments.

The 6,000 to 7,000 square- foot proposed facility will be on 3.67 acres at McCabe and Clark roads.

Anderson said a similar facility is being built by the Cardiff School District in San Diego County. Imperial County Office of Education will use the building plans from the facility in Cardiff, which are already approved by the state Department of Education.

The deadline for the Office of Education to apply for the grant is May 30. In other action, the board:

· supported legislation by Assemblyman David Kelley, R-Idyllwild, requiring the California State University trustees to study Imperial County's post-secondary education needs;

· approved a five-year program of more than 100 local transportation projects;

· sent a letter opposing proposed changes to the Administrative Procedures Act by the State Mining and Geology Board;

· asked the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation for an additional $117,000 from the Brawley wetlands project grant to pay for outreach programs at schools;

· approved stricter regulations on dangerous animals in the county;

>> Staff Writer Laura Mitchell can be reached at 337-3452 or lauramitchell9@yahoo.com

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