PID recovery projects lose funding

The state's recent budget cut plans include reverting money from Paradise Irrigation District's recovery projects from the Camp Fire.

Posted: May 17, 2020 9:29 PM

PARADISE, Calif. -- Gov. Gavin Newsom's revised budget cut plan includes slashing funds given to support Camp Fire recovery efforts.

Over $7.3 million dolllars were reverted from the Paradise Irrigation District in this plan.

Now, recovery efforts have another roadblock ahead.

PID District Manager Kevin Phillips says, "It's tough. It's a shock. I don't think the shock has worn off yet."

Phillips added, "This was to allow us to get kind of our feet underneath us, allow normal operations to happen through the recovery process, but also it was to allow us to go through a study which was linked to the money which was to look at options available for us to sustain ourselves through the rebuild and to the future."

PID has been at the forefront of recovery projects since the November 2018 Camp Fire, but Gov. Gavin Newsom's latest cut leaves many frustrated.

Former Paradise Mayor Steve Culleton says, "It's ludacris that the legislature approved it, you know and it's a vital thing having clean water is a big deal."

"We feel like we're kind of out on a little bit of an island it just feels like the state has let us down," said Phillips.

Now during the coronavirus pandemic, the PID team has to think on the fly.

"We're reverting resources away from the rebuild now having to think about what funding is available out there, looking for new funding available that we didn't have to for next year because we were relying on the 7.3 and that 7.3 would've got us through not just the next year but a little bit into the following year," said Phillips.

Assemblymam James Gallagher called the reverting of these funds as a cold-hearted decision and says it won't be tolerated.

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