Feds May Not Pay For Levee Repairs

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(Sacramento, CA)
Thursday, July 27, 2006

State water officials say it looks like California –and not the federal government - may end up paying the $50 million needed to make those repairs. But they don’t want to. 

"We could, however we’re very mindful that this is a federal responsibility." 

State Department of Water Resources Director Lester Snow says he’ll keep pressuring the federal government to restore the flood protection system just as it’s doing in Gulf Coast states.

Meantime, Les Harder who heads public safety at the Water Resources Department says they won’t wait around for the feds to start repair work.

"The state’s prepared to step in to do what it can on the most crucial sites with state funds even if we don’t get reimbursement or credit for it." 

Those state funds would come from the $500 million included in the most recent state budget. Some of the damaged levee sites protect areas like Isleton, Walnut Grove and Knights Landing.