MEASURE A FUNDING IS RUNNING OUT
By PETER JENSEN, Napa Valley Register, 3/31/14
Napa County is preparing to spend $3.2 million in funding from a special sales tax for flood control, which will wrap up the final construction phases of its Napa River Rutherford Reach restoration project, and give a half-million dollars to two recycled water pipeline projects.
The Board of Supervisors is set to approve the allocations during its meeting Tuesday, making the majority of the funds available in the upcoming fiscal year that starts in July.
The supervisors’ approval would constitute one of the county’s last major rounds of funding from Measure A, a half-cent sales tax measure countywide that voters approved in 1998.
After the $3.2 million expenditure, county staff projects Measure A would have $3.8 million left to spend before the tax measure sunsets in 2018. Of that, about $1.3 million is earmarked for water projects in Angwin, while projects at Lake Berryessa would have $2.3 million available, according to a county staff report.
About $175,000 would be left over and available for use on other projects, according to current revenue projections.
The next round of funding provides $200,000 for the Rutherford Reach restoration project, which is scheduled to wrap up construction on its final four reaches this summer using grant funding from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
That means putting the finishing touches on a project that began five years ago, and works to restore a 4.5-mile stretch of the river from Zinfandel Lane to Oakville Cross Road.
The work has focused on repairing habitat, preventing bank erosion, building vegetation buffers, and restoring the river to a state that resembles its historic nature.
The $200,000 in funding would pay for construction oversight, working with landowners in the area, and staff and consultant costs, according to the staff report.
The two big-ticket items in this round of funding are $1 million for improving the reliability of water supplies in Angwin, as well as $1.5 million for the first phase of construction of another Napa River restoration project, from Oak Knoll to Oakville, according to the report.
The Angwin projects are approved and managed by water companies there, and the county expects the $1 million to be spent by next summer.
The county has a $1.2 million grant from the EPA to start construction work on the Oak Knoll to Oakville restoration project, but that requires $1.2 million in matching funds from Measure A. The county finished environmental review of the project and has submitted its permit applications, with work expected to begin next summer.
An extra $300,000 is included for this project to cover design, staff and consultant costs, according to the report.
The Los Carneros Water District is in the planning process for extending a recycled water pipeline from the Napa Sanitation District plant south of the city of Napa out to landowners in the Carneros region. The supervisors are set to approve using $100,000 of Measure A funds so the district can finish its designs for the project, which is a new project tapping Measure A dollars, according to the report.
The final project to get money in this round is the planned recycled water pipeline to the Coombsville area, which is reliant on groundwater and drains the Milliken, Sarco and Tulocay creeks.
Construction is getting closer to starting on this project, but $400,000 is needed to pay for acquiring an easement from the state so the county could put a pump station on the Napa State Hospital grounds, as well as paying for staff, consultants, and legal and design costs.
The $400,000 would be split up, so that $150,000 would be available in the current fiscal year, which ends in June. The final $250,000 would be spent in the next fiscal year.