EL CENTRO, Calif. - Imperial Irrigation District officials said the Local Entity program is making a difference in Imperial Valley.
IID Communications Specialist Robert Schettler said, “in a sense, it’s like a once in a lifetime opportunity.”
Since 2008, the program has helped the local business and non-profit community. And now it’s about to do it again with five million dollars in grants.
“The local entity has been distributing funds to farm services providers and others in the community to create jobs and things like that for a number of years now,” Schettler said.
Brawley business owner Ray Armenta has benefitted from these grants.
“We’re competing against multibillion dollar conglomerates, and it enabled us to purchase new equipment that made us more efficient. We were also able to add new jobs ,” Armenta said.
He expanded his business.
“For the overall Imperial Valley, you’re always looking to create more long-term permanent manufacturing jobs. And for us, it was very important,” Armenta said.
A Mexican snack shop owner told us grant funds helped him build a drive-thru.
The program aimed to lessen the effects of land fallowing caused by water transfer to San Diego.
“When land is taken out of production, farm workers don’t work, people selling seed don’t sell as much seed and so there’s damage there,” Schettler said.
The fallowing ends this year, and the program, as well.
“With this five million that’s left is go out and hit the community with the broadest sense of support that we can,” Schettler said.
The deadline for proposal submission is February 28th.
“We’re looking for two groups. Basically community-based organizations and private sector businesses that are looking to expand,” Schettler said.