Work on the southbound border crossing modernization at the San Ysidro port of entry will move ahead once the Appropriations Committee makes a decision on replacing the transportation spending cuts in San Diego. Rep. Susan Davis (D) last month joined local congressmembers, Reps. Jaun Vargas (D) and Scott Peters (D), in asking the committee to restore full project funding for the GSA project that ran into a rough spot during the federal budget crisis.
The legislators told fellow congressmembers on the committee taking the project out of a rough spot will help strengthen a work market in the border area that fell off during the recession. Davis said, "Delays at the border crossing cost our districts billions of dollars in lost output and tens of thousands of jobs. I hope my colleagues on the Appropriations Committee will recognize the importance of modernizing the San Ysidro port of entry and give the project the funding it needs." Slowed down work on replacing outdated facilities and the crossing broke up plans to top old bi-national enterprise that regularly attracts new jobs and keeps workers at work in the San Diego economy.
The outdated POE facilities are a recovery trouble spot for Vargas. He said, the project is "critical to strengthening our region's economy." Incomplete work on the crossing will make the border more efficient, taking away costly delays that hold back job creation.
Buying the materials for the project and designing the final work phases has been delwayed. Committee congressmembers will agree on the funding SanDiego will have to fund the work remianing on the project in the negotiations set to end by a January 15th deadline. The day the current appropriations agreement ends. The committee chairman optimistic, troubles funding spending requests are not expected during the next two weeks.
Mexican nationals keep the San Ysidro border a popular crossing the Border Patrol works with the federal GSA to secure. Inspection lines at the completed Nogales-Mariposa inspection facility make finding customs violators and security threats more productive work. The 2012 opening of the El Chapparal facility in Mexico finished an early stage inthe southern neighbor's sde in the agreed on border work in the San Ysidro area. Peters tol the appropriations committee the 2014 funding made available in the President's budget will give San Diego the opportunity to increase security by building up the San Ysidro POE southbound facilities.
San Diego's investment in productive border crossings comes at a price the Bipartisan Budget Act passed in December can guarantee makes the investment a durable enterprise plan once the committee neogiates a recovery appropriations decision.
This is an On The Watch Take.