House Passes Ruiz-Secured Funding for 10 Local Clean Water, Health, And Infrastructure Projects

Tiani Jadulang

Washington, D.C. – Last night, the House passed an omnibus appropriations package for Fiscal Year 2022 that will bring federal funding directly to California’s 36thDistrict. The package includes $10 million secured by Congressman Raul Ruiz, M.D. (CA-36) to expand access to health care, bring clean water to the Eastern Coachella Valley, and drive economic growth in the 36th District.

 “I am thrilled to see the House pass the $10 million in federal funding that I secured to bring new health care resources to Blythe, economic development to San Jacinto, infrastructure improvements to the Pass Area, and clean drinking water access to the Eastern Coachella Valley,” said Dr. Ruiz. “In addition, I’m thrilled to see the House pass funding that’ll launch an Army Corps of Engineers project at the Salton Sea, which will strengthen our all-hands-on-deck approach to this environmental and public health crisis. Once signed into law, this funding will bring incredible value to our communities, grow our local economy, and make a positive difference in the lives of my constituents.”

“Expansion and widening of Pennsylvania Avenue is a critical project for Beaumont and the Pass Area. These improvements will enhance access and help alleviate traffic congestion along I-10,” said Todd Parton, Beaumont City Manager. “This would not be possible without the tireless efforts of Congressman Ruiz. With his assistance, one of the area’s most vital retail centers will continue to flourish while much needed traffic relief is provided to area residents. Additionally, Beaumont will be able to reallocate our local dollars to other critical projects that benefit our community as well as the region.”

“We are excited to learn the House of Representatives will pass an appropriations packaged that includes funding for our water reservoir project. Constructing this water reservoir will secure the continued supply of reliable, clean, and safe drinking water and fire flow protection for our residents,” said Mayor Dale Reynolds of the City of Blythe. “The City appreciates Congressman Ruiz and the House Appropriations Committee for supporting this much needed water infrastructure project for the City of Blythe.”

“Clinicas de Salud del Pueblo would like to thank Congressman Ruiz and the House Appropriations Committee for providing $1M in support of the renovation and expansion of our primary care Health Clinic in Blythe,” said Yvonne Bell, President and CEO of Clinicas de Salud del Pueblo. The new facility will expand much needed access to health care for the low-income and remote community of Blythe.  The renovation will allow us to serve more patients with the addition of 11 new exam rooms as well as newly added dental and integrated behavioral health services.”

“We are grateful of Congressman Ruiz’s partnership with CVWD and for his leadership in securing federal funding to support the Eastern Coachella Valley community,” said Coachella Valley Water District Board Vice President Cástulo R. Estrada. “These funds continue to advance CVWD’s priorities and initiatives in communities affected by the lack of water availability. Improvements to our potable system in the Eastern Coachella Valley promotes economic development opportunities that benefit the community and also helps spur the development of quality affordable housing. CVWD will continue to partner with Congressman Ruiz and is dedicated to improving the living conditions of the communities we serve.”

“The Coachella Valley Housing Coalition, a 39 year old nonprofit community development corporation, is pleased to learn of the funding approval of our Community Project grant application through Congressman Dr. Raul Ruiz’s recommendation to the Appropriations Committee,” said Pedro S. G. Rodriguez, Executive Director of the Coachella Valley Housing Coalition. “The $500,000 in funding will provide much needed financing for renovations to our headquarters building in Indio, CA. The renovations will allow the agency to remain in Indio and continue its successful mission of improving the living conditions of low-income individuals and families by constructing and operating affordable housing infused with community services programs and other opportunities that enrich, build, and grow their lives. We would like to express our heartfelt gratitude to Congressman Raul Ruiz, M.D., and his team for his support of our organization and the renovation grant application.”

“Loma Linda University Medical Center is delighted our request to establish a Federally Qualified Health Center in Rancho Mirage has been selected by the House Appropriations Committee,” said Dr. Richard Hart, President of Loma Linda University Health. “This new clinic will serve the expanding Medicaid (MediCal) population in this area, providing much needed clinical and preventive care. In partnership with SAC Health, Loma Linda is committed to serving this large population demographic with quality health care services.  I am deeply grateful to Dr. Raul Ruiz for his assistance in obtaining this grant.”

“On behalf of the Palo Verde Hospital, we would like to express our sincere gratitude to Congressman Ruiz for the $350,000 award and support in the Palo Verde Hospital’s Integrated Community Health Program-PVHICHP,” said Liz Manjarrez, Outreach Project Administrator of Palo Verde Hospial. “The ICHP will address the lack of services in low-income families that live in Blythe and it’s remote/isolated areas (Ripley, Mesa Verde, and Cibola). This award will provide much needed clinical services; therefore, will close the health care gap by providing remote whole person care such as, diabetes education, managed care in chronic illness, and primary/mental health services.”

“We are deeply grateful to Congressman Ruiz and our Congressional delegation for securing this new funding to move the Corps’ feasibility study of a long-term Salton Sea management plan forward,” said Salton Sea Authority Executive Director Patrick O’Dowd. “The Authority looks forward to advancing that study in partnership with the local communities surrounding the Sea, the Corps and the State of California.”

“With economic development more important than ever, we appreciate Congressman Raul Ruiz’s continued efforts to seek passage of appropriations that will facilitate construction of the 10-acre Soboba Crossroads shopping center in San Jacinto,” said Isaiah Vivanco, Chairman of the Soboba Band of Luiseño Indians. “The benefits to our local communities, which will include an estimated 100 permanent jobs, enhanced local services, increased tax revenues, support for public services and new opportunities for business growth, will be reaped for many years to come. On behalf of the people of Soboba, I’d like to thank Dr. Ruiz and all others who worked tirelessly to secure funding for this all-important infrastructure project.”

BACKGROUND 

Ruiz championed funding for the ten projects that will directly benefit residents in the 36th district. This funding includes:

  • $1.25 million for the City of Banning to fund a wastewater treatment facility equalization basin at the current facility to protect the environment from overflows caused by large surges in demand primarily driven by extreme weather. Banning relies on water pumped from underground aquifers, so this project will protect the groundwater from being contaminated during overflows where wastewater seeps into the ground.
  • $2.7 million for Coachella Valley Water District to fund the Avenue 66 Clean Water Project. This will aid the construction of a new water transmission line that will bring water access to a disadvantaged area that currently relies on unreliable independent water systems, mostly wells that need to remove naturally occurring arsenic from the water.
  • $1.5 million for the City of Beaumont to fund the expansion and widening of Pennsylvania Avenue between 1st Street and 6th Street from its current two lanes to four lanes. The widening of Pennsylvania Avenue will provide increased mobility and access to residents of Beaumont and Banning, and employees of businesses in the area.
  • $500,000 for the City of Blythe to fund the replacement of an existing 500,000-gallon water reservoir servicing the Palo Verde College and surrounding neighborhood with a new, bolted steel water tank of similar capacity. This water tank is the sole source of fire protection and safe, clean, and reliable drinking water for the College and nearby neighborhoods.
  • $500,000 for the Coachella Valley Housing Coalition to fund the rehabilitation and renovation of their Development and Service Center. This 17,000 square foot facility serves the low-income residents of the Coachella Valley by providing services including credit counseling; homebuyer education; self-help homeownership opportunities; after-school programs and scholarships for low-income youth; community gardens; and English and citizenship classes.
  • $1 million for the Soboba Band of Luiseño Indiansto fund construction of public facilities required to facilitate construction of the 10-acre Soboba Crossroads shopping center in San Jacinto. This project will bring an estimated 100 permanent jobs, enhanced local services, increased tax revenues, support for public services, and new opportunities for business growth.
  • $1 million for the Clinicas de Salud del Pueblo to fund the expansion of the Blythe Health Center from 5,766 square feet to 13,768 square feet which will allow the center to accept roughly 6,000 additional patients per year, including the addition of behavioral health and dental services. This project expands health care access in a low-income, rural community through an FQHC which provides health care services regardless of a patient’s ability to pay.
  • $1 million for Loma Linda University Health Center to fund the construction and furnishing of a new 8,000 sq foot FQHC in the Coachella Valley. According to the Health Resources and Services Administration, over 96,000 low-income individuals did not receive care through an FQHC in the Coachella Valley, including the growing number of individuals experiencing homelessness through the ongoing pandemic. The project will provide convenient access to health care for populations throughout CA-36 regardless of the individual’s ability to pay.
  • $350,000 for Palo Verde Hospital District to assist with the acquisition of a fully integrated mobile health unit with telehealth services. This mobile clinic will serve patients within 25 miles of Blythe. The region this project serves has high poverty rates and is a health provider shortage area for primary care, dental, and mental health care.
  • $200,000 for the Salton Sea Authority to fund the first phase of the investigation into the “Imperial Streams, Salton Sea, and Tributaries” Army Corps project which Dr. Ruiz secured in the Water Resources Development Act of 2020. This project will contribute to the habitat and ecosystem restoration at the Salton Sea, which is a growing public health crisis in Southern California.

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