CALEXICO, Calif. - City of Calexico Mayor Bill Hodge said on Friday they finally have good news regarding the New River.
“We have the design. Now we need to move forward with the construction part,” Hodge said.
Resident John Renison said he welcomes the two-part project. First there’s the cleanup phase.
“You’ll have a trash screen at the border. You’ll also have a diversion, a pump, that will pump water to the calexico wastewater treatment plant,” Renison said.
A parkway north of Second Street will be constructed in the second phase.
“It will consist of a pedestrian and bike path,” Hodge said.
The public workshop with state officials, local leaders and community regarding the New River update was held on Thursday. Hodge said it was a time for good news for the city.
“The residents on the west side have suffered just too much because of the toxics in the New River,” Hodge said.
However, with construction projected to be completed three years away, the news was little comfort for some residents concerned about summer mosquitoes coming from the river.
“The health and welfare of our citizens. We don’t want West Nile virus. We don’t want the mosquitos. We don’t want the industrial waste,” Renison said.
Resident Victor Anguiano said, “Worse in this time when it’s hot when the mosquitoes are everywhere and the water’s coming very contaminated and it’s a center of infections.”
The river’s just a few feet from Gran Plaza Outlets, a major shopping plaza visited by thousands of families from both sides of the border.
Hodge said they’re on top of it.
“We are on our way. It will take some more time. It will take some serious effort,” Hodge said.