City to get infusion of storm-water funding

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Culver City received good news last week when the Santa Monica Bay Restoration Commission recommended that a stormwater project receive up to $3 million dollars in funding from Proposition 84.

At its Oct. 20 meeting, the commission chose the Culver Boulevard Realignment and Stormwater Infiltration and Retention Regional project as one of the five applicants that requested Proposition 84 money.

Culver City has a stormwater ballot measure on its Nov. 8 ballot, Measure CW, that city leaders say will improve water quality in Ballona Creek and the Santa Monica Bay.

Measure CW is a parcel tax and would $99 annually per single family residential parcel, $69 annually per multi-family residential dwelling unit and $1,096 annually per acre of land or portion thereof for non-residential, according to the city’s analysis.

Public Works Director Charles Herbertson said the grant funding will dovetail very well with Measure CW funding if the initiative passes.

“All grants have matching requirements and Measure CW funds would be used, in large part, as matching funds for grants like this one.  In that way the city is able to leverage its money for maximum benefit to the community’s stormwater clean-up efforts,” Herbertson explained. “We anticipate that Measure CW will generate approximately $2 million per year. This amount of money will provide the city with a source of matching funds for this grant as well as future grants.

“Receipt of these monies will be most valuable in ensuring the construction of the project,” added City Manager John Nachbar.

“These projects reflect the kind of long-term view that has always been central to the [commission] as we focus on policies and projects that enhance the health and enjoyment of our watershed, whether through pollution control, park space or water quality,” said Los Angeles Bureau of Sanitation director Enrique Zaldivar, who is also the commission chair.  “These things affect each of us as citizens every day.”

Herbertson said Culver City currently relies on general fund revenues for matching funds and the general fund has many demands on it from other city departments, but Measure CW would be exclusively for the purpose of funding stormwater programs and could not be diverted to other uses.

Proposition 84, the Safe Drinking Water, Water Quality and Supply, Flood Control, River and Coastal Protection Bond Act of 2006, is a 2006 voter- approved initiative. Grant funding can be used for coastal water quality improvement projects.

Gary Walker contributed to this story.