News: City of St. Helena, Corps of Engineers sign cost-share agreement
Story by John Hardesty
ST. HELENA, Calif. - The city of St. Helena and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers signed a Federal Cost Share Agreement Dec. 7 to study its Comprehensive Flood Protection project.
The project, authorized in the Water Resources Development Act of 2007, provides for federal reimbursement, but requires the feasibility study be conducted before the funds reimbursing the federal government's share are appropriated. Congress appropriated funds for the study in fiscal years 2009 and 2010.
"This is a big day for St. Helena," said Rep. Mike Thompson. "This effort is not simply about repaying the city for the federal share of the project. It's about ensuring that our community gets the funding it needs for other important public works and environmental projects that will improve the health and safety of our community. I will continue working with my colleagues in the Congress, the administration, and the Corps to get the funding we need to keep this expedited study on track and to repay the city for its early protection work."
Civil works infrastructure funding is an investment in the nation’s economy, security and quality of life – now and in the future. Completion of the 15-month study is scheduled in spring 2014.
“The city of St. Helena and the Corps of Engineers share in the common interest to minimize flood risk to the community,” said the Corps’ San Francisco District Commander Lt. Col. John K. Baker. “Protecting lives and property remains a stalwart focus where we live and work.”
The cost-share agreement is just one step in the reimbursement process for the already completed flood project. The $1.2-million cost of the study to review the flood protection project to ensure it meets Corps of Engineers standards will be split equally.
St. Helena City Manager Gary Broad explained, “We're excited to be entering into this cost-sharing agreement with the Corps, which could allow the Corps to find our project plans feasible, and find the award-winning project to be something it would have constructed. Flood protection project construction has been huge in reducing flood risk to our community and we're looking forward to the ultimate federal reimbursement in order to reinvest in the city's future."
The area of the study is in the vicinity of the confluence of the Napa River and Sulpher Creek extending upstream from Deer Park Road and approximately two miles downstream to Zinfandel Lane past the city of St. Helena’s (city) Wastewater Treatment Plant, east of CA-29/Main Street.
Established in 1866, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers San Francisco District employs approximately 300 people, who are responsible for 40,000 square miles extending 600 miles from the Oregon border to San Luis Obispo County. The district’s programs and projects support approximately 1,000 permanent, higher-wage jobs that contribute to more than $100 million to the regional economy.
The district helps build the nation’s long-term economic strength in an environmentally-sustainable way through water-supply management and flood-damage reduction, shore and coastal protection, ecosystems restoration, and wildlife protection. The district works in partnership with local, state and federal agencies. District staff respond with emergency operations for natural disasters, regulate development that affects waterways and wetlands, and keeps navigation channels, harbors and ports open for the more than 100 million tons of cargo shipped to area deep-water ports.