IMPERIAL BEACH, Calif. – Imperial Beach Mayor Serge Dedina held his State of the City address Tuesday night, addressing major concerns including cross-border pollution and crime.
At the Boys and Girls Club, the mayor said the city has been working closely with border agencies and the Mexican government, which has promised a three-phase plan to eliminate the sewage that flows along the coast south of the border, into the Tijuana River and onto San Diego’s beaches.
“They’ve promised to release a plan by the end of the month so I’m going to hold them to that,” Dedina said.
“The first thing would be to deal with the up to 50 million gallons a day of raw sewage discharge on the beach,” Dedina said. “They said they would start work on a pipe to deal with that this year and then to build a new sewage plant where they currently dump about 40 million gallons a day of raw sewage on the beach, so that’s the second part.”
The third part, the mayor says, is to stop dumping treated sewage into the Tijuana River, causing it to be polluted and spill into county beaches.
“They have to do this because they want to build a desal plant in Rosarito Beach and they want to sell that water from the desal plant back to Chula Vista, so we’ve let them know you’re not gonna sell a drop of that water to consumers in San Diego County unless you fix our sewage up,” Dedina said.
Other highlights of the night included applauding city’s preparation for recent storms by handing out thousands of sandbags since last year’s El Nino. Crime has also dropped, making Imperial Beach the safest beach community in the county and allowing residents to feel more at ease.
“We’ve all been working together just to make this a better place for everybody who lives here...so it’s nice to see the crime rate is going down and it is safer,” said longtime Imperial Beach resident Sha-Ron Cobb.