Hearthstone residents demand action from city council

CALEXICO, Calif. – Residents from Calexico’s Hearthstone subdivision demanded on Thursday for the city council to either eliminate the Community Facility District tax on their homes or make the area improvements they have been paying for but haven’t received.

Residents say the CFD tax money was to be used to pay for area improvements and impact fees when the project was built ten years ago, but the developer filed bankruptcy during the last phase of the project and didn’t complete the improvements. “I have complied with my responsibilities and the city has not complied with theirs,” Hearthstone resident Jose Vargas said.

Vargas said their kids are also affected. “Our kids cannot go to the new school that they built – Cesar Chavez Elementary School – because they gotta go to another area. That’s where they belong they say,” Vargas said.

The city said it’s required by law to continue collecting the CFD’s even when it said it cannot at this time make the improvements the CFD’s are meant for. Mayor Luis Castro said he wants to find a solution to the problem. “There is a process. And I’m gonna work hard to make it happen,” Castro said.

City Manager Armando Villa said the meeting was only to hear concerns but he had no answers, but Vargas said the council does have the legal power to do something about the CFD’s. “To put the CFD’s in any area of the city or do away with them.”

Vargas said since they didn’t get any answers Thursday night they are considering a class action lawsuit. “To hire a law firm,” Vargas said.

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