MIL-OSI USA: Butler, Padilla, Lofgren, Panetta Call On Admin To Support Additional Funding For Pajaro River Levee Upgrades

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US Senate News:

Source: United States Senator for California – Laphonza Butler

Washington D.C. – Today, U.S. Senators Laphonza Butler and Alex Padilla (both D-Calif.), alongside Representatives Zoe Lofgren (CA-18) and Jimmy Panetta (CA-19), are calling on the White House and Army Corps of Engineers to support additional funding for the Pajaro River Flood Risk Management Project in the President’s FY25 budget request.

The lawmakers previously secured $149 million from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to upgrade the Pajaro River levees.

“The residents and businesses of Pajaro and Watsonville have been subject to unacceptable levels of flood risk for decades and have repeatedly experienced significant flooding over that time,” the lawmakers wrote. “It is our understanding that the project will require additional funding in FY25 to allow the project to continue to advance.  As you develop the President’s Budget for FY25, we request that you include full funding for this vital project.”

Full text of the letter is available here and below:

Dear Director Young and Secretary Connor,

As you finalize the President’s Budget for Fiscal Year 2025 (FY25) for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), we write to urge full funding for the Pajaro River Flood Risk Management Project.  As you know, this project is an urgent flood risk reduction project for vulnerable communities on California’s central coast which are still recovering from significant flooding in 2023.  We remain grateful for the $149 million in funding for the project from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, but request that you include all funding necessary for continued expedited construction in FY25.

The residents and businesses of Pajaro and Watsonville have been subject to unacceptable levels of flood risk for decades and have repeatedly experienced significant flooding over that time.  Both communities are economically disadvantaged and historically underserved.  Many of these residents are employed as agricultural workers and are vital contributors to the highly productive agricultural industry in the area.  These communities urgently deserve continued federal investments to protect their lives and livelihoods.

We appreciate USACE’s ongoing commitment to the Pajaro River Flood Risk Management Project, including Assistant Secretary Connor’s visit to the region last year.  It is our understanding that the project will require additional funding in FY25 to allow the project to continue to advance.  As you develop the President’s Budget for FY25, we request that you include full funding for this vital project.  Notably, the State of California has already committed to providing 100% of the non-federal cost share for this vital project. 

Thank you for your consideration of this request.  We look forward to continuing to work with you and the non-federal sponsor to see this long-awaited project to completion. 

Sincerely,

                                                                                                                                     

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