COLAB was formed as an advocacy group to address issues with the various departments within the County of Imperial organization. Over the course of time, that scope was expanded to include the Imperial Irrigation District, although in light of the Quantified Settlement Agreement (QSA), COLAB has not formally addresses water related issues.   The continued availability of water to our agricultural members and the related business is important.

The current areas of focus for the Imperial Irrigation District (IID) include:

  • IID increased the energy rate in 2014 by a marketed 7%.  The demand charge, however, went from $2.75 per mW to $6.75 per mW. Working with IID staff the rate for large ag users was changed to $4.75 per mW.  We are now working on other changes where commercial/industrial use is low and residential demand is high. 
  • Accountability is also a concern.   Finding the most cost effective manner to provide reliable service--this applies to the energy and water departments.
  • With an upturn in the economy, growth is again an issue.   Substations in in the right locations are needed.

The current areas of focus for the County of Imperial include:

  •   The transition of Certified Unified Program Agencies (CUPA) as State of California manage agencies to one managed by Imperial County under the offices of the Fire Department. This process stated in 2015 with the intent for the State to transfer to the County of Imperial by December 2017
  • The County of Imperial has approximately 2555 miles of roads, of which 1349 miles are paved.  The number of bridges is 138. Over the years the condition of the roads and bridges, like most of rural California, as well as other parts of the United States, has deteriorated with an insufficient revenue source to provide for rehabilitation.  In 2012 a study conducted by a third party concluded that the that Imperial County needed an annual budget of $10 million in 2011 dollars to achieve a Pavement Condition Index of 62. This amount does not include the cost of maintenance of the unpaved roads within in Imperial County. It did not include an allowance or for compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, which is required on all roadway rehabilitation projects.  Imperial County established a self-help sales tax of 1/2 of percent earmarked for roads --in the incorporated cities and the county. With this self-help tax, the current budget is less than 1/2 of the need fund.  The recently enacted Road Repair and Accountability Act of 2017 will provide an increased funding for the County.  We are working with the County to develop of a list of roads and bridges for a priority work. 
  • The County has no policy for the acceptance of various methods for payment for fees.  Each department has established its own.  As a streamlining of the fee structure occurs, the County must establish an uniform "point of sale" policy.
  • Imperial County Air Pollution Control District establish a mitigation fee for new development--both commercial and residential. COLAB believes that fee structure is onus and complicated.  We are work with the ICAPCD to simplify and lower the overall cost to the developer to assist in economic growth.
  • The Salton Sea and its expected exposed playa is a concern to all of us living in the area. We believe the State of California assumed responsibility of the restoration of the Salton Sea in the signing of the QSA in 2002.  We support the intent of the County of Imperial and Imperial Irrigation District to hold the State of California accountable.   

Other miscellaneous issues

  • Conditional Operating Permit--fair and consistent application
  • General responsible time and accountability for department to include customer service improvements