Yuma County took another step in the process of hiring a consultant to prepare a business plan for development of the 240-acre Magrino Industrial Park adjacent to the San Luis Commercial Port of Entry.
The county has received an $80,000 Rural Business Enterprise Grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to pay for the plan.
The board of supervisors authorized Development Services to sign all documents accepting the grant at its July 1 meeting, and the grant was officially announced last month.
At this week’s meeting, the supervisors amended the Development Services budget in the grant amount, a step needed to begin the process of hiring a consultant to prepare the business plan for the Greater Yuma Port Authority.
The entire process is expected to take about a year.
The plan will determine the appropriate market, infrastructure, capital resources, partners, strategies and goals to foster small business development in the industrial park, which sits on the border with Mexico just east of the port.
Currently, the industrial complex is divided into small parcels designed for small and border-related businesses that complement the international crossing.
Ultimately, the grant’s purpose is to create jobs. According to County Administrator Robert Pickels, the goal is to bring long-term employment opportunities to the area.
“You have to know how to market it,” Pickels said last month.
County officials want to know “what is going to survive there” and “what is going to thrive there,” he added.
“It is a waste of time, I think, to bring somebody in there that is not going to plant roots and be there long term. When we talk about creating jobs, we want sustainable jobs.”
In other action, the board accepted a cost proposal of $376,625 from the Yuma County Water Users Association for the reconstruction of two drains.
The YCWUA will rebuild the main drain crossing at Somerton Avenue and County 11th Street and the central drain crossing at County 10th Street and Avenue D.
The county wants to replace both crossings in fiscal year 2014 due to the deteriorated condition of the corrugated metal pipes.
The county approached the YCWUA to see if the agency would like to participate and reconstruct the culvert crossing by removing the old pipe and replacing it with concrete pipe.
The YCWUA submitted a cost proposal in the amount of $237,581 and $139,044, respectively, to supply and install the crossing pipes.
To keep costs down, the county Public Works will help YCWUA with traffic control setup and maintenance, final field grading and pavement replacement.
The YCWUA is tentatively looking to replace the first culvert in October and the second one in the spring of 2014, according to a staff report.
In addition, the supervisors set an Oct. 21 public hearing to receive comments on proposed revisions to the fee schedule for the Yuma County Public Health Services District.
The district’s Vital Records Division has been receiving a large number of same-day service requests for birth certificates, according to a staff report.
To accommodate these requests, the district is asking that the fee schedule include an additional $10 fee for requests of expedited certified birth certificates.
The board also authorized the Yuma County Housing Department to donate 71 used refrigerators to the Housing Department Resident Central Advisory Council, a nonprofit organization, for fundraising purposes.
YCHD has purchased 84 refrigerators under the Capital Fund Grant program to replace the existing refrigerators installed in the Valley Vista units located at 8450 W. Highway 95 in Somerton.
Three refrigerators were requested by three other county departments, and 10 will be kept by YCHD as emergency backups.