GYPA has been incorporated for over ten years and has accomplished many things but has more to do. Incorporated in September of 2000, GYPA is designated as a 501 C3 Corporation with presently four Member Entities. Those entities are the Cocopah Indian Tribe, Yuma County, the City of San Luis. Each Entity appoints two Board Members to the GYPA Board of Directors and those Board Members serve at the pleasure of the Member Entity appointed from. GYPA has pursued the development of better border crossing times along our Border with Sonora, Mexico. Prior to being incorporated the communities had already committed to the idea of a separate commercial port of entry 5 miles to the East of the San Luis port of entry. The Environmental Assessment was done and congressional efforts were under way to acquire excess land from the Federal government for the new commercial port of entry. The legislation that allowed for GYPA to purchase the land necessary for building a new commercial port of entry was signed into law in December 2000. GYPA also applied for a Diplomatic Note with Mexico in March 2001 for the new commercial crossing and the two governments sign the Diplomatic Note September 4, 2001.
GYPA purchased the land from the Bureau of Reclamation in August of 2002 and that showed the Federal Agencies that GYPA was serious about getting a new commercial port of entry put on that property as soon as possible. GYPA had promised the General Services Administration (GSA) an 80 acre site free and construction ready for the new Federal commercial port of entry. After many evolutions on how to finance the new commercial port of entry it was determined that the only way it would happen is if the Federal government built the facility. GYPA was able to use an Arizona ADOT grant to fund the Feasibility Study for the commercial port of entry known as San Luis II and GSA concurrently conducted a GSA funded Feasibility Study for the reconstruction of San Luis port of entry in 2003 which became known as San Luis I in order to differentiate the two projects that were being presented as a combined solution to expand the crossing capacity of San Luis I and provide a greater standoff distance for CBP Officers from a potential terrorist attack and have a new separate commercial port of entry, San Luis II. At the Bridges and Borders Conference in San Antonio, Texas in the Spring of 2004 it was determined that the San Luis border projects were ranked number one for the Southern Border and recommended for funding in the President's FY06 Budget for San Luis II as a Design/Build and San Luis I for design. In FY06 there were no new projects funded and in FY07 GSA received $42 million for San Luis II for Design/Build and Mariposa port of entry in Nogales, Arizona received Design funds. Then GSA received Design funds of $8 million for San Luis I in FY08. During the year that GYPA had the disheartening news of non funding they spent time and funds trying to educate the agencies and elected officials on the importance of the two projects which were in reality one combined project. ADOT purchased 20 acres in June 2007 from GYPA for $35 thousand per acre adjacent to the GSA 80 acre parcel for the ADOT MVD Facility. GYPA was able to secure a loan of $3 million to install the offsite utilities for the GSA and ADOT sites, with that State land purchase. Due to change orders that were beyond the control of the contractor GYPA had to arrange an additional $600 thousand to complete the offsite utilities which became part of the City of San Luis's utility infrastructure once it was completed and inspected and tested. The electrical power lines were installed by Arizona Public Service (APS) and is owned by them but the installation cost were paid for by GYPA. Presently GYPA has dedicated easements for utilities and road right of ways and donated some land for road construction to ensure that all of the construction for San Luis II, the ADOT facility and the connector road Avenue E to SR195 which is a limited access 4 lane divided highway to Interstate 8, happened without delays. San Luis II and the ADOT MVD facility opened in November 2010 and SR195 has been open since September of 2009. San Luis II is a state of the art facility designed to handle commercial traffic and with 80 plus acres it has plenty of room for expansion in the future. GYPA has over 225 acres adjacent to the East Boundary of the Federal and State facilities and another 15 acres along the West side of Avenue E. San Luis II Rio Colorado the Mexican Port of Entry is adjacent to the Parque Industrial Park located in San Luis Rio Colorado which has plenty of Industrial land to develop for commercial enterprises. The land that runs North of San Luis II is mainly designated for light industrial development so the area is ready to provide businesses the opportunity to prosper in a friendly environment and be able to reach many markets within a day's drive by truck.
GYPA has also submitted two Presidential Permits one for a Border Crossing (San Luis II) and the other for a Cattle Crossing to be located on the Southeast corner of the GYPA property. State Department awarded GSA the Presidential Permit for San Luis II and GYPA the Presidential Permit for the Cattle Crossing. GYPA also pursued the expansion of cattle allowed to cross at San Luis and after five years USDA finally approved this with a ruling which allows cattle that use to only be allowed to cross in Texas and at Santa Teresa Crossing in the Southeast corner of New Mexico to also cross at San Luis, Arizona. Our Member Entities have each invested $645,000 in the operation of GYPA. GYPA has caused the expenditure of $42 million for San Luis II, $10 million for the ADOT MVD facility, $ 2 million for the roundabout at the entrance exit of the ports of entry and pushed for the acceleration of the build out of SR195 which cost about $86 million. The Federal government had made it a point that there must be connectivity of new ports of entry to be able to quickly drive to an Interstate Highway, SR195 did this for us. GYPA has pushed for Logistics as an Industry for Arizona and also seeks to have the Western Passage of the CANAMEX added to the Congressional High Priority Highways so that someday there may be funds applied for major highway improvements along highway 95 to intercept the CANAMEX near Kingman, Arizona.
Other areas that GYPA has looked at is the creation of an Inland Port, an intermodal area in the Yuma area and another port of entry between Arizona and Baja California. Presently GYPA is focused on the completion of San Luis I and finding a developer for our GYPA land to lease for long term and develop the property for their customers.
GYPA has formed Committees to work issues that need resolution or extra attention:
Legislative Committee - Chairman Gary Magrino
The Legislative Committee is made up of community members who seek to educate our elected officials on the importance of the rehabilitation of San Luis I by receiving congressional approval for funding the project through GSA.
International Committee - Chairman Joe Harper
The International Committee will work with Mexico to seek joint opportunities that will improve business along our border. Utilizing the Arizona Mexico Commission, the Border Trade Alliance, the Yuma County Chamber of Commerce, the San Luis Chamber of Commerce, the Yuma County Airport Authority and the Greater Yuma Economic Development Corporation.
Development Committee - Chairman Gary Magrino
Identify potential businesses which may be placed within the Port Authorities property boundaries which will enhance trade flow across the Border. Identify required infrastructure which businesses need to expand their operations which are to cost prohibitive for the private sector to invest in alone.
Financial Committee - Chairman Robert Pickels
The Finance Committee will develop the GYPA Budget, initiate cash requirements to the Member Entities. The Committee will identify funding sources to pay for the daily operation of GYPA and its infrastructure expansion. The Committee will also develop recommended buy-in procedures for proposed new Member Entities.
Special Projects - Chairman Dr. Michael Reed
Works on short term issues that require a small focused effort to look for solutions.
Facilities Committee - Chairman Robert Pickels
The Facilities Committee will design the port infrastructure and plan for future growth.
Overweight Truck Route Committee - Chairman Frank Rascon
Identify and create overweight truck routes from the Border to all potential customers within a 25 mile limit of the Border and submit those routes to the government entities who control those roadways for approval and then have ADOT create those approved overweight truck routes which can then be purchased by truck operators who enter the U.S. at 90,800 lbs. from ADOT prior to be released onto Arizona highways.
Personnel Committee - Chairman Michael Reed
Personnel Committee will seek to find, interview and hire a qualified individual to Administrate the GYPA operations that do not require Board action for the next year or more until the GYPA Board of Directors determines it's next large infrastructure project at which time the Committee will determine whether to expand the Administrators time or to hire specialist to run the new programs.
Real Estate Committee - Chairman Ross Wait
Real Estate Committee will provide advice on the type of design the industrial park should be with lot sizes and potential lease price or sales price of the property.