Mar 4, 2014 7:00 PM
Earlier today Congress received the 2014 workplan prepared by the Obama Administration which includes $8.6M to begin construction of the Hamilton City Flood Damage Reduction and Ecosystem Restoration Project.
The effort to secure federal funding came from Senator Feinstein, Senator Boxer, Congressman LaMalfa, and Congressman Garamendi. “Our Congressional delegation really came through for us,” said Lee Ann Grigsby-Puente, President of Reclamation District 2140’s Board of Trustees. “Congressman Garamendi and Congressman LaMalfa were extremely diligent in getting the House to provide funding for new construction projects like Hamilton City. Senator Feinstein has been a staunch supporter throughout this process and weighed in to make sure that the 2014 workplan had funding for us. Senator Boxer led the way for the project to be authorized back in 2007. Our project would not have received the funding to begin construction but for their extraordinary, bi-partisan effort. We are so very thankful for their determination to get the Hamilton City Project funded.”
In addition to the 2014 workplan, President Obama released his 2015 fiscal year budget, and it included an additional $3.8 million in funding for the Hamilton City Project.
The funding announced in the 2014 workplan represents a significant change in policy. Since FY 2010, the House has failed to fund any so-called “new starts” by the Army Corps of Engineers, defined as projects that have not received prior Congressional funding for the construction phase of the project. Despite being in the President’s budget each of the last three years, and being funded by the Senate in FY2013, the House’s ban on new starts had prevented the Hamilton City Project from moving beyond the design phase – long since completed – and into actual construction.
“Getting past the ban on funding for new construction starts in the House was the final hurdle and represents a major achievement,” said Leigh McDaniel, the Glenn County Supervisor representing the Hamilton City area. “The local proponents have worked tirelessly to impress upon the folks in Washington the dire need our community has for improved flood protection, and it is extremely gratifying to see all of that hard work pay off,” he said.
The Hamilton City Project is a multipurpose flood damage reduction and ecosystem restoration project. It consists of (1) construction of 6.8 miles of setback levee to provide a more reliable form of flood protection to the community and agricultural areas, (2) degradation of the existing “J” levee, and (3) restoration and reconnection of approximately 1,400 acres of rare and much needed native habitat to the Sacramento River flood-plain. Once constructed, the new levee will provide Hamilton City with protection against a 75-year flood event, a dramatic improvement over the level of protection afforded by the existing J Levee. Despite repairs performed by the County of Glenn over the last decade, and emergency work conducted by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the California Department of Water Resources, the existing J Levee remains in critically bad condition.