Our speaker this day was introduced by Dr. Bruce as Erica Felci, the Governmental Projects Manager for the Coachella Valley Association of Governments (CVAG).  Erica was standing in for former Rotary Club of La Quinta member Tom Kirk, now the Executive Director for CVAG who was called off at the last minute. 
“CVAG is the regional planning agency coordinating government services in the Coachella Valley. By providing solutions to the common issues of the local governments and tribes that are its members, CVAG promotes a better quality of life and balanced growth for residents of Central and Eastern Riverside County.”  Those local governments served by CVAG include our 9 local Coachella Valley Cities, two Indian Tribes, the County of Riverside and the City of Blythe.  CVAG was created in 1963 to (successfully) fight a then planned oil refinery in the Banning Pass.  Today CVAG works with the different agencies to coordinate regional issues (including transportation issues, conservation issues etc.) and also to distribute Measure “A” funds.  One of these issues that CVAG has taken the lead on is the CV Link. 
 
The CV Link is a revolutionary 50 mile transportation corridor deigned to accommodate pedestrians, bicyclists and low speed electric vehicles (including golf carts) that will roughly parallel Highway 111 and run from Palm Springs to Coachella.  The CV Link originally received a grant of $50 million dollars to fund the project but proceeds raised have now reached the $100 Million dollar mark.  While the project is still in the acquisition of right-of-way phase it did open the first completed section in February 2018… a 2.5 mile portion from Ramon to Vista Chino and then later a second 1 mile section to Duluth Park.  They plan to complete 15 more miles in 2020.  Currently Indian Wells and Rancho Mirage are the only two cities that have not approved right-of-ways to complete the link.  Hopefully, someday they will.
 
Erica was an excellent and most informative speaker and everyone in attendance enjoyed listening to her presentation.  To learn more about CVAG and the CV Link please go to their websites at www.CVAG.org and www.CoachellaValleyLink.com.