Costs for the Lower Pajaro River Levee Project are divided between the Counties of Santa Cruz and Monterey, the City of Watsonville, and the Town of Pajaro, who must pay 25 percent of the cost, and the federal government, which pays 75 percent of the cost. The local community is responsible for the cost of all land acquisition, easements, relocations (including bridge replacement), and rights of way. In addition, local sponsors provide 5 percent of total project costs in cash and pay for long-term operations and maintenance costs. Given the very unique and valuable 75% federal cost-share of the total project cost, a local funding mechanism will be required to fund the remaining 25% of the total project cost.
In order to keep maintain project momentum and complete the final project design, the local sponsors are developing strategies to increase federal funding, and to supplement insufficient federal funding with alternative funding sources. These strategies include:
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) depends on federal funding to complete its work on our levee project. When the project does not receive adequate funding, the USACE must stop work on the project until the next federal budget is passed. The project is now over seven years behind its original schedule due to inadequate federal funding.
For example: In 2007, the USACE received $1.0 million of the $1.6 million that was requested. As a result, the USACE ran out of funds in July, and was not able to complete the Environmental Impact Study/Environmental Impact Report (EIS/EIR) in January 2008, as planned. Inadequate funding continues to be a challenge. Since 2008, Federal Appropriations requests have totaled $18 million and actual Federal Funds received have totaled $2.1 (the same amount contributed by State and Local sources).