Today, Dr. Raul Ruiz (D-Palm Desert) and the Coachella Valley Water District (CVWD) announced a U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development grant for $610,000 to complete a project to provide sewer service to the San Antonio Del Desierto (St. Anthony’s) mobile home park in Mecca, CA. This grant is in addition to an initial $2,540,600 USDA grant Dr. Ruiz secured in September 2014.
“Everyone deserves access to clean drinking water. That is why I am proud to have helped secure this USDA federal funding to build out water infrastructure in the Coachella Valley,” said Dr. Ruiz. “This is another local victory and an example of what we can achieve when we come together to improve the lives of the people we serve. I look forward to continuing to deliver local results for our communities.”
“Our communities deserve access to clean water and healthy sanitary services so I have made it my priority, since I was elected in 2014, to implement projects that address these issues,” said CVWD Vice President Cástulo Estrada. “The work that has been done by the District and our community leaders to promote more and better infrastructure and address deficiencies in our disadvantaged communities is commendable. We thank Congressman Ruiz for his consistent support and tireless effort to see this through.”
“Infrastructure (drinking water and sanitation) for farmworker communities has been a top priority for Congressman Ruiz. His leadership and deep understanding of rural challenges has helped, to once again, secure additional investment that will improve the living conditions of many families at St. Anthony MHP,” said Sergio Carranza, Executive Director of Pueblo Unido.
The St. Anthony’s project is critical to the health and safety of the 136 households in the mobile home park to address the current failing wastewater and water systems. St. Anthony’s currently relies on an outdated septic system with open lagoons that are located adjacent to the residential development. High groundwater levels in the area combined with the current shallow well the community relies on poses a serious health risk to residents if not addressed.
In 2017, CVWD founded a Disadvantaged Communities Infrastructure Task Force to assist communities in the East Valley in receiving grant funding for important infrastructure projects. The Infrastructure Task Force, which is made up of CVWD, stakeholders and elected officials, has prioritized making improvements at this park and has been working towards funding the project for several years.
In addition to serving St. Anthony’s residents, the CVWD is investing in a lift station at Lincoln Street and Avenue 64 which will assist in expanding services to other Disadvantaged Communities. Approximately 700 East Valley residents, especially those near Lincoln Street and south of Avenue 66, will see an improvement to their living conditions.
Rep. Ruiz: Hernan Quintas, Hernan.Quintas@mail.house.gov - 202-302-1137CVWD: Katie Evans, KEvans@cvwd.org – 760-398-2661 ext. 2353