It’s time for renewal in Imperial County according to Board of Supervisors Chairman Ryan Kelley in a speech he gave in Calipatria on March 17.
Kelley said that the County needs to recharge its batteries in order to make the next great leap to improve services for all of Imperial County with a renewed vision.
“It is almost springtime and the season of new growth. New life begins in the desert, on the fields, at our homes, and in our families” Kelley said. “A time when life blooms and after months of cold and windy winter days. Imperial County is entering the springtime, and new growth is coming in Lithium Valley.”
Kelley said Imperial County is seeking new ways to capture opportunities as evidenced by the passage of SB 125 and other Lithium Legislation last year. The legislation included a Lithium Valley Specific Plan, a health impact assessment, and a Lithium Severance Tax (with 80% revenues for Imperial County, and 20% for the Salton Sea). A community engagement grant allocation, and a STEM building at San Diego State University-Brawley Campus.
“Each of these actions came from you, industry, cities, Community-Based Organizations, Districts, and anyone interested, everyone was invited to join these meetings in 2021. From those conversations, a list was prepared in the Lithium Valley Investment Plan and shared with the Governor’s Office,” he added.
Kelley announced several items for board consideration that include funding to every city and town in Imperial County; $1 million divided by population.
“I will ask for no conditions to be placed on this funding. Each city and town can choose their community need and apply the funds in the manner they see fit,” Kelley said.
Expansion of Imperial County Parks and Recreation.
Kelley proposed a Desert Shores Restoration Project in partnership with the Salton Sea Authority and Bureau of Reclamation. In addition, the Niland Open Space Project in partnership with Innercare, Gafcom, and the Niland Chamber of Commerce.
Kelley will ask for a Lithium Valley Office in Calipatria, California. An office housing the Deputy CEO for Natural Resources, a County Planner, and a County Public Works Engineer.
A salary survey for all Imperial County positions.
“I will bring a salary survey and market study to the Board of Supervisors agenda. I’m asking for County salary and wage tables to be updated to remove all positions found below minimum wage,” he added.
“The battery charges shared with you tonight is the metaphor for this year. Take it home and charge it, get an extra charge, and keep it, again and again, use it, a battery with renewal. Like Imperial County’s crown jewel.”