Smith Canal: State is still a partner

For those following the Smith Canal flood gate saga, here’s some additional insight from Mike Mierzwa, with the state Department of Water Resources:

“The State still supports the project as a cost-share partner.  In fact, it was included in our short list of US Army Corps of Engineers projects referenced by name as part of our 2016 Water Resources Development Act support letter.

“While there are deadlines associated with our Prop 1E funding, if the construction time frames were delayed beyond the Prop 1E sunset, naturally we’d look for other funding sources.  I’m optimistic that state funding for urban projects is not a concern.”

Translation: Despite the litigation and the potential for “substantial” delays in the Smith Canal flood gate, the state is still on board. And that’s good news for project supporters, because California is supposed to pick up roughly half of the $37 million bill.

If the state were to drop out, there is no Smith Canal project and thousands of people stay in the flood zone with mandatory flood insurance and building restrictions.

But it doesn’t sound like that’s likely.


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