VOL. 16 ISSUE NO. 39   |  SEPTEMBER 29 – OCTOBER 5, 2010


MCFCD pledges ‘Small Project Assistance’ funds for wash remediation

MCFCD contributions to project costs are limited to 75 percent of the project construction cost or $250,000, whichever is less

cave creek wash flooding Maricopa County Flood Control District has pledged up to $250,000 in funding through its Small Project Assistance Program to help with remediation efforts for eight homeowners whose properties were left in a precarious state after January’s rain storms eroded the banks of Cave Creek Wash and undermined part of the Kopenhavers’ home, pictured in the background.   Photo by Linda Bentley

CAVE CREEK – Town Manager Usama Abujbarah’s recent meeting with Maricopa County Flood Control District (MCFCD) ended on a positive note, with MCFCD offering to assist with funding for the Cave Creek Wash remediation project through its Small Project Assistance Program (SPAP).

The town has approved the creation of an improvement district for eight property owners along the wash, the majority of which are in the Desert Enclave subdivision, in order to meet the timeline of a federal grant which leaves the homeowners’ share at an estimated $350,000 to $467,000 ($43,750 to $58,375 each), depending on how the bids come in.

The SPAP, however, has already approved and committed funding for fiscal year 2010/2011 projects and cannot technically access funds for the next fiscal year until July 2011.

The town is discussing entering into an intergovernmental agreement (IGA) with MCFCD, which is required for funding through the program and would need to be approved by both Cave Creek Town Council and the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors. MCFCD is attempting to find a way to fund, or at least partially fund, the project this fiscal year.

The SPAP was authorized through Resolution 2009R003 by the board of supervisors for a two-year trial period with funding through fiscal year 2011/2012.

The purpose of the SPAP is three-fold:
• Facilitate the mitigation of flood hazards that are local in nature but pose a risk to the citizens and property of Maricopa County;
• Using consistent, published criteria, objectively evaluate submitted local flood control capital projects requested by municipalities;
• Allow for the rapid implementation of recommended local flood control capital projects with minimal administrative delay.

While exceptions to the policies of the SPAP are not granted, the program allows for projects to alternatively be submitted to the District’s Capital Improvement Program Prioritization Procedure, which allows for additional implementation flexibility.

The terms of the required IGA stipulate that:
• All costs associated with design, rights-of-way, acquisition, utility relocation, permitting, construction management, materials testing, survey work, non-flood control features operations and maintenance are the responsibility of the requesting municipality;
• The requesting municipality acts as the lead agency for all activities;
• MCFCD will be given an opportunity to review and comment on project plans and specifications;
• MCFCD contributions to project costs are limited to 75 percent of the project construction cost or $250,000, whichever is less.

The terms of the standard IGA, “mandatory for all projects approved under this procedure,” stress MCFCD “contributions are limited to project construction costs incurred during the fiscal year for which the project was submitted and that subsequent and prior costs are the sole responsibility of the requesting municipality.”

While this appears to be a hurdle MCFCD will need to work out with the county board of supervisors, a $250,000 infusion of funds through the SPAP would reduce the costs to each property owner by $31,250.

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