Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Napa Flood Control Problems

We aren’t the only community with issues around flood control, but we’re still the least protected of any major city in the country.

Flood control end date up in the air
By KEVIN COURTNEY, Register Staff Writer
Sunday, December 17, 2006 1:12 AM PST

When will the Napa River flood control project be finished? It's anyone's guess.

When county voters passed a half-cent sales tax in 1998 to fund the local share of flood control, officials predicted that central Napa would be fully protected by this year.

It hasn't happened. Only 40 to 50 percent of the project's flood benefits are in place, with U.S. Army Corps of Engineers just beginning serious work on flood defenses in downtown Napa.

Officially, the flood project's completion date is now 2011, but no one believes it. Some say 2014 is more realistic. Pessimists like In Harm's Way, the Napa Creek neighborhood group, say it could be more than a decade away unless the federal government dramatically increases Corps of Engineers funding.

The project's financial situation is acute this year. Chronic federal underfunding threatened to leave the Corps with insufficient money to tackle any new projects in the 2007 construction season, Heather Stanton, local project manager, said. At the same time, the state was running millions of dollars behind in paying its share of local costs.