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2013 wetter than normal rainy season predicted | King County Flood Control District
Preparing for a predicted wet flood season, the King County Flood Control District Board of Supervisors today adopted a 2013 budget totaling $41 million. They also adopted a six-year capital improvement program (CIP) that will guide the Flood Control District’s flood risk reduction activities into the future.
The budget funds 14 major levee rehabilitation projects across King County; provides over $3.7 million to 40 jurisdictions for local flooding and stormwater projects through the Flood Control District’s Opportunity Fund; and improves flood awareness, response programs and facility maintenance.
“Since its creation in 2008, the Flood Control District has been working to reduce flood risks, successfully completing 63 projects throughout King County,” stated Board Chair Julia Patterson. “Adoption of this budget ensures additional critical levee projects will be implemented, protecting people, property, and the regional economy. These efforts would have taken over 20 years to complete without Flood Control District funding.”
“In addition to implementing new projects, the Flood Control District is taking actions to reduce flood risk to people and property through diligent maintenance of levee systems,” said Executive Committee Chair Reagan Dunn. “This includes regular inspection and maintenance of 500 levees and revetments along 120 miles of river and 620 acres of property, and removing 15 to 20 at-risk structures every year.”
Executive Committee Member Kathy Lambert recognized District actions that have benefited her council district, the most frequently flooded area in the county. “The District has completed 30 flood damage repairs, 40 buyouts of at-risk homes, 50 home and barn elevations, and provided support for 26 farm pads. These activities move residents and businesses out of harm’s way, and allow farmers to safely move livestock and equipment to higher ground during flood events.”
Executive Committee Member Larry Gossett highlighted how the District continues to successfully leverage local tax dollars. “Since 2008, 37 grants in the amount of $49.5 million have been leveraged by the District,” stated Gossett. “That is approximately $2.50 in local, state and federal funds leveraged for each $1 the Flood Control District invested in these partnerships.”
In addition to flood prevention projects and activities, the budget provides $3.15 million in funding to improve water quality, protect and restore habitat, and support salmon recovery efforts in four King County watersheds.
“Public safety and protection of our economy through flood prevention projects continues to be the primary responsibility of the Flood Control District,” stated Board Supervisor Larry Phillips. “Restoring and protecting our watersheds is also critically important to the ecological health of our region, values that we strongly embrace in the Pacific Northwest.”
“The budget approved today funds important flood prevention projects that protect public safety and critical infrastructure throughout the region. The budget also provides a $3.7 million opportunity fund for local projects, a critical resource for helping local jurisdictions address localized stormwater and flooding issues,” said Board Supervisor Bob Ferguson, who represents Shoreline, Lake Forest Park, Kenmore, Bothell, and parts of northeast Seattle, Woodinville, and Kirkland.
Board Supervisor Jane Hague noted, “this budget includes an internal audit to ensure that the greatest amount of dollars gets into capital flood projects.”
Specific project examples across King County to be implemented over 2013-18 include:
Elliott Bay Seawall (Seattle): $28 million to help rebuild the failing seawall that protects Downtown Seattle.
Coal Creek Channel Improvements (Bellevue): $8.5 million to reduce flood risks along Coal Creek.
Reddington Levee (Auburn): $12 million to construct a setback levee that protects nearly 600 developed parcels with an assessed value of over $680 million.
Levee Improvements (Kent and Renton): $30 million to make improvements to levees protecting dense commercial, industrial, and manufacturing areas in Kent and Renton.
South Fork Snoqualmie Levee (Upper Snoqualmie): $8.7 million to reconstruct sections of the levees that protect residential and commercial areas of North Bend.
Home Elevations (Upper and Lower Snoqualmie): $6.2 million to acquire or elevate at-risk homes in and around the cities of Snoqualmie and North Bend and $2.3 million to reduce risks to home and agricultural operations in the Lower Snoqualmie.
Sinnema Quale Revetment (Lower Snoqualmie): Over $3.3 million to reconstruct a failing revetment that protects SR 203 and the Snoqualmie Valley Trail near Carnation.
The Flood Control District’s Board of Supervisors asked their Advisory Committee to review the 2013 budget and provide recommendations. The operating and capital programs adopted are generally consistent with those recommendations. Updated increased revenue projections since the Advisory Committee provided recommendations and a newly-acquired FEMA grant meant that an additional approximately $676,000 was available for 2013 capital projects and roughly $5 million over the six-year CIP.
Information about the King County Flood Control District can be found at www.kingcountyfloodcontrol.org.