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Advancing Community wellness in the Coachella Valley

District and Foundation Board approves $10 million for CV Link

An initial review of a Memorandum of Understanding between the Desert Healthcare District and Foundation and the Coachella Valley Association of Governments (CVAG) culminated Dec. 17 in the approval of $10 million for the CV Link. 

The District and Foundation Board of Directors voted 5-2 at its monthly meeting to implement a grant contract to support continued construction of the multiuse pathway. The vote followed a presentation by District attorney Jeff Scott and CVAG Executive Director Tom Kirk and comments from 10 community members. All except one public speaker were in favor of funding the valleywide CV Link.

Many speakers said the pathway is needed, raising concerns about current unsafe conditions for cyclists on Coachella Valley roadways.

Of the seven Board Directors, Karen Borja and Evett PerezGil voted "no" on the agenda item. Both asked thoughtful questions about the status of the pathway, and cited their constituents' health and wellness priorities for their stance. Directors Les Zendle, Leticia De Lara, Mark Matthews, Carole Rogers and Arthur Shorr voted for the contract.

Primarily based on an MOU signed in 2013, the contract terms were recently agreed upon by staffs of the District and Foundation and CVAG after conditions and contingencies were met. Dr. Conrado Bárzaga, District and Foundation CEO, and Mr. Kirk both acknowledged the two agencies' history of working together and the pathway's potential health benefits for the community.

The District and Foundation's $10 million grant contract is part of more than $103 million in commitments CVAG has secured. To receive the District and Foundation funds, CVAG will submit invoices to be reimbursed. Payments will not exceed $1.67 million per year.

CV Link construction is slated to continue in 2020, starting in March in Palm Desert.

To learn more about the District and Foundation, go to