Mission Beach

City announces $37M in federal funding for Mission Beach stormwater system upgrades

A project specifically earmarked includes upgrading storm drain infrastructure in South Mission Beach dating to the 1940s that officials say is too small, resulting in regular flooding

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Mayor Todd Gloria Wednesday met with officials from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the State Water Resources Control Board in Mission Beach to announce $37 million in funding to upgrade the city's aging stormwater system.

As part of President Biden's Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, the city will receive a $32 million low-interest loan and $5 million grant, intended to reduce neighborhood flood risk and bolster the region's defenses for increasingly intense rain events.

The $32 million State Revolving Fund loan has a 1.7% interest rate.

"Upgrading our aging stormwater system is vital to protect our neighborhoods and environment from the increasing threat posed by climate change and severe weather," Gloria said. "This $37 million investment from the Biden Administration's Bipartisan Infrastructure Law will help address longstanding flooding issues to protect homes, businesses, and our natural resources, ensuring a safer San Diego for all of us."

A project specifically earmarked includes upgrading storm drain infrastructure in South Mission Beach dating to the 1940s that officials say is too small, resulting in regular flooding.

According to the city, the funding is in conjunction with the $733 million investment commitment received in September 2022 for San Diego stormwater upgrades through the EPA's Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act -- a federal credit program designed to promote improved water infrastructure.

"Improving stormwater infrastructure protects homes, businesses and our environment," EPA Acting Assistant Administrator for Water Bruno Pigott said. "President Biden promised to strengthen communities across the country by investing in water infrastructure. He delivered on that promise with the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and now $37 million is coming to San Diego to reduce the risk of flooding in South Mission Beach."

The funding comes several months after intense storms and inadequately maintained stormwater infrastructure compounded to cause flooding in multiple areas of San Diego, especially in the Southeast part of the city. More than $235 million is dedicated to bolster flood resilience and water quality improvements in the Chollas Creek watershed.

According to Tyler Becker, a public information officer for the city, there are 24 projects being funded by that money. He also added, as of now, they are all in the design or planning phase with construction expected to begin on some of them in 2025.

City leaders did not mention the areas hardest hit by the storm, but as NBC 7's Alexis Rivas reports, leaders knew the entire city was vulnerable to a big rainstorm.
Copyright CNS - City News Service
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