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County continues crafting public-private partnership

December 18, 2012|By ALEJANDRO DAVILA | Staff Writer

The public-private partnership that could fund the expansion of the Calexico West Port of Entry continues taking shape, now in the form of a memorandum of understanding between the county and the California Power Corp. which the county Board of Supervisors could approve today.

Under this MOU, the county agrees to negotiate for one year exclusively with the California Power Corp., a developing consultant from Carlsbad, that Deputy County Counsel Kyle Sand said is connected with the investment firm Kinsell, Newcomb & de Dios Inc.

“This is clearly Kinsell’s corporation,” said Sand while referring to the California Power Corp.

Kinsell, Newcomb & de Dios Inc. (also included in the MOU) is the investment firm that if allowed by the federal government would fully fund the roughly $300 million expansion of the Calexico West POE, said principal partner Jeff Kinsell in previous interviews.

According to a report to the board, this funding would be repaid through the lease payments the Department of Homeland Security pays to the General Services Administration for the use of the building.

But this one year, non-binding agreement, only applies if anything materializes in the county’s push to have the federal government allow public-private partnership funding of federal building rehabilitation. Moreover, the exclusivity of the agreement is only allowed to the extent permissible by law, said Deputy County Counsel Katherine Turner, who explained this means the county would honor competitive bidding when required.

The MOU is a living document: “We can amend it,” said County Supervisor John Renison, who noted the MOU is another piece of the arsenal to push politicians like Sen. Dianne Feinstein, Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez, Congressman Juan Vargas and Texas Congressman Henry Cuellar to all get on board on the public-private partnership option.

“We are on a very crucial watershed moment,” said Renison, since the expansion of the Calexico West POE “is one of the biggest issues for 2013, if not the biggest issue for the county.”

And yet Renison doesn’t dismiss the option of obtaining funding from the federal government, which is still the first option.

However, a Congress concerned about the national debt makes Renison think this option “it’s not impossible, just probably improbable.” 



If you go

What — Imperial County Board of Supervisors meeting

When — 8:30 a.m. today

Where — 940 Main St., Suite 211, El Centro



Staff Writer Alejandro Davila can be reached at 760-337-3445 or adavila@ivpressonline.com

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