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Wednesday, December 19 , 2018, 4:20 am | Fair 43º


House Committee Approves $8.5 Million for Santa Maria River Levee

Rep. Capps is working to secure funding, and the full House is likely to consider the measure this summer.

Rep. Lois Capps, D-Santa Barbara, announced Wednesday committee approval of $8.5 million in the fiscal year 2009 Energy and Water Development Appropriations bill to help stabilize and repair the Santa Maria River levee.

Earlier this year, Capps had requested the federal funding for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to begin the first stage of the project design as well as potentially start construction efforts needed to stabilize the aging levee.

The legislation is expected to be considered by the full House later this summer.

“This is remarkable progress in our ongoing effort to repair the Santa Maria River levee and protect the surrounding communities,” Capps said. “Last year, Sen. (Dianne) Feinstein and I were able to secure funding for the Army Corps to start the process of repairing this levee, and with this additional funding we are making significant progress in our ongoing efforts to prevent its continued deterioration.

“We know that this quick action is essential to preventing a levee failure that would be devastating to the residents and businesses in the Santa Maria Valley. These repairs are a worthy investment in our community’s future and prudent given the recent tragedies we have observed when levees fail, such as the New Orleans levees failure following Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and now with the devastating flooding throughout parts of the Midwest. Approval for the levee funding in the House Appropriations Committee today was a critical first step, and I will be working closely with my colleagues in the coming weeks to ensure that this funding is subsequently approved by the full House and included in the final bill signed by the president.”

Salud Carbajal, chairman of the Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors, said, “I want to thank Congresswoman Capps for her leadership and outstanding work in securing this critical funding for the levee repair, which will help ensure the health and safety of Santa Barbara County residents.”

“This is absolutely great news for Santa Maria, and as mayor, I would like to thank Congresswoman Capps and Congressman Gallegly on their efforts in getting the $8.5 million in appropriations for the levee included in the draft House Appropriations bill, and I look forward to having the bill go through the process and eventually be signed by the President,” Santa Maria Mayor Larry Lavagnino said.

Guadalupe Mayor Lupe Alvarez said, “This is fantastic news not only for Santa Maria upriver, but the city of Guadalupe down river. The obvious benefit to all concerned will be the countless lives saved along with homes, farms and personal property saved. This is the way government is supposed to work, helping people before something devastating happens. We would not be at this juncture if it was not for the help of our Congresswoman Lois Capps and Congressman Elton Gallegly.”

Emily Kryder is press secretary for Rep. Lois Capps, D-Santa Barbara.


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