The sun sets over the Salton Sea. | LUKE PHILLIPS PHOTO

Imperial County Wants to Work with Riverside, Looks at More Funding

Imperial County will look to its neighbor to the north for a joint resolution to attempt to join a conversation about the Salton Sea.

At the Tuesday, Feb. 23, meeting of the Imperial County Board of Supervisors, the board voted to work with Riverside County to draft a joint resolution to send to the governor to join the Quantification Settlement Agreement Joint Powers Authority. 

The Quantification Settlement Agreement, signed in 2003 by the Imperial Irrigation District, Coachella Valley Water District, San Diego County Water Authority, and Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, implements water transfers and supply programs that allow California to live within the state’s 4.4-million-acre-foot basic annual apportionment of Colorado River water. The agreements came in response to California consistently using more than its annual Colorado River entitlement of 4.4 million acre-feet.

A part of the agreement creates a joint-powers authority, whose membership includes IID, CVWD, SDCWA, and the state, to decide on Salton Sea-based projects that will mitigate the toll that less water going into the Salton Sea will take on the region.

“This entity has been around since 2003,” said District 4 Supervisor Ryan Kelley, whose district encompasses the southern end of the sea. “They contributed $133 million at 2003 value, and that money has grown, but their impact on the receding sea has been limited.”

Imperial and Riverside counties have the land-use authority, so it makes sense that they would be part of the discussion about mitigating the impacts to the sea, he added.

Kelley asked staff to work with Riverside County to draft a joint resolution asking for membership to the joint-powers authority.

More Money for Home Visits

The county Public Health Department was re-awarded a three-year grant from the California Department of Public Health’s Maternal, Child and Adolescent Health division to continue implementation of a home-visiting program in the county, said Public Health Director Janette Angulo. The grant totals nearly $1.9 million and runs through September 2023.

The department provides high-quality home-visitation services to families who want to improve their child’s health, nutrition, and developmental outcomes, Angulo said. The federal initiative that the grant is designed to help improve is maternal and child health during pregnancy and the first few years of life.

The Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to approve the agreement with the state for the funds.

Stonegarden Grant Helps Purchase Vehicle

The county board also approved purchasing a new fully equipped patrol vehicle that could cost nearly $80,000.

The funds for the new vehicle come from the fiscal 2019 Stonegarden Fund, said sheriff’s Chief Deputy Robert Benavidez. The county was awarded $2.8 million in grant funding, $1.67 million of which reimbursed local and state agencies that are participating in the program.

The remaining $1.1 million-plus went toward expenses including overtime, benefits, vehicle maintenance, administrative fees, and the purchase of the new vehicle.

The board approved the purchase unanimously.

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