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Stories of the past: August 20, 2008 >> 50 years ago — The old water plant site may soon become the site of a 64-home residential subdivision.

August 20, 2008

Developer Bob Roberts appeared before the El Centro City Council Wednesday evening and offered to buy the site for this purpose, and the council voted to advertise the area for sale of the same purpose.

No action was taken on Roberts’ offer of $23,175 for the property because of the legal necessity of asking for bids, but councilmen were receptive to the proposal.

The area in question is a 14-acre rectangle bounded by Vine, Ross, Eighth and Tenth streets, with the exception of the northeast corner where the old water tower stands.

>> 40 years ago — The Seeley Women’s Club turned a $1,000 check over to the county supervisors yesterday to pay for the construction of the John Robert Bates Jr., Memorial Park in their city.

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The park, named in honor of a Seeley Navy man who was killed in an air crash off the coast of Spain in 1964, will consist of a marble monument and a flagpole. It will include a bronze plaque to be engraved with the names of Seeley men killed in service. The name of Gene Kilgore, 20, a Marine killed in action in Vietnam last February, will go on the plaque along with Bates.

>> 30 years ago — Benjamin Solomon was sitting at his new desk in City Hall at 8 a.m. today after the El Centro City council reinstated him Wednesday to his job as human services coordinator.

The council upheld the findings of the Personnel Appeals Board and gave back Solomon his $1,175-a-month job. He was fired by City Manager George Parker last June.

Mayor pro tem Roy Perry’s announcement that the council voted 3-0 to uphold the appeal board’s decision was greeted by applause from a throng of Solomon-backers in the audience. Mayor Rollie Wisbrock and Councilman Henry Alarcon were not present.

>> 20 years ago — An ex-employee’s allegations of improprieties at a hazardous waste facility near Westmorland stole the show Thursday at a public hearing concerning a proposed permit to expand the operation.

The hearing was held to consider a proposal to let International Technologies Corp. add two new landfills to its site. Paul McMann, who was fired by IT in April, charged the firm fails to take the measures necessary to prevent hazardous waste from being carried offsite by the wind.

He also said the facility staff does not properly sample incoming waste to insure it complies with limits set by state, federal and county permits governing the dump operation.

“Some may say I am a disgruntled ex-employee and I’m doing this to hurt the company. I will not dispute that I was dealt with unfairly. … But the allegations are truly in the interest of Imperial County residents.”

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