A letter urging Sens. Dianne Feinstein, Barbara Boxer and U.S. Rep. Bob Filner to co-sponsor a bill allowing public-private partnerships to finance construction and maintenance of land border ports of entry could be signed by the Imperial County Board of Supervisors today.
The bill S.3279, introduced last month by Texas Republican Sens. John Cornyn and Kay Bailey Hutchinson, would allow U.S Customs and Border Protection to partner with local governments or private sector entities to fund infrastructure improvements and additional staffing.
Public-private partnerships as an alternative funding mechanism to expand the Calexico West POE — a roughly $300 million project — is an idea supervisors have backed and pushed for months, especially after the project lost federal funding.
A daily average of more than 16,000 passenger vehicles and 20,000 pedestrians come into the country through the “undersized” Calexico West POE, the letter notes, causing long waiting times that result in more than $1 billion in economic losses.
There has been no action taken on S.3279, according to a report to the board, and given the slow movement of the bill, it is recommended that the board seek the assistance and support from the region’s congressional representatives.
Just last May, the board backed a Senate Joint Resolution introduced by state Sen. Juan Vargas, D-San Diego, which affirms the Legislature’s support for a private-public partnership to renovate and expand the aging port of entry.
Staff Writer Alejandro Davila can be reached at 760-337-3445 or firstname.lastname@example.org
What Imperial County Board of Supervisors meeting
When 8:30 a.m. today
Where 940 Main St., Suite 211, El Centro