COACHELLA, Calif. - The city of Coachella and the Coachella Valley Association of Governments announced that a $170,000 grant has been awarded to launch a climate action plan aimed at supporting projects benefiting the local economy, environment, and health of residents living in the Eastern Coachella Valley.
The Eastern Coachella Valley Climate Resilience Action Plan is a proposal to combine several planning documents into one master plan aimed at prioritizing affordable housing, transportation, green infrastructure and park projects in the region.
The plan's boundary area includes Coachella and the unincorporated communities of Thermal, Mecca, North Shore and Oasis.
Staff from the California Strategic Growth Council, which voted to awards the funds on Monday, called the plan "a unique application that proposes to improve planning activities in a rural area of the state.''
Officials said the grant application was just one of 10 to be funded through the Transformative Climate Communities grant program, which awards planning grants to disadvantaged California communities.
"We're thrilled that the Strategic Growth Council is supporting our efforts to have a better pan for housing, transportation and park projects that promote walkable communities, reduce greenhouse gases and create a more sustainable region,'' said Coachella Mayor Steven Hernandez, a member of CVAG's executive committee.
"The Eastern Coachella Valley Climate Resilience Action Plan is a huge step toward positioning the city of Coachella and the nearby unincorporated communities for larger grant awards in the future.''
The planning efforts that will take place over the course of the following year will help Eastern Coachella Valley cities compete for future Transformative Climate Communities grants, officials said. The application was developed in partnership with the county and the Leadership Counsel for Justice and Accountability.
Local lawmakers said this type of funding was a long time coming for the eastern valley.
"For too long, the Coachella Valley has not received its fair share of funds from the state's cap and trade program,'' Supervisor V. Manuel Perez said. "By working across our geographic boundaries and coming together as a region, we can better compete for these funding opportunities and create a
better community for future generations.''
Assemblyman Eduardo Garcia, D-Coachella, said, "From the minute I arrived in Sacramento, I set out to ensure that our region received equitable investments from our state. In order to achieve this, it was critical for me to bring together all of our local stakeholders to best align our greenhouse gas reduction
fund programs and their dollars to meet our unique geographical needs.
"This recent award demonstrates the successful collaboration of our local government entities and nonprofit partners and is telling to what lies in store if we continue to work closely together, with cohesive vision and strategy to secure these resources as well as pursue every possible opportunity
for our community to prosper.''