Reno's Flood Project Gets Financial Boost From Washington - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe News Weather, Video -

Reno's Flood Project Gets Financial Boost From Washington

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Update from Rep. Mark Amodei's Office

Today, (Tuesday, May 20) the Truckee Meadows Flood Risk Management Project cleared a key hurdle when language requested by Congressman Mark Amodei (NV-2) was included in the conference report for H.R. 3080, the Water Resources Reform & Development Act (WRRDA) of 2014, and passed by the full House 412 to 4. In addition to the Truckee River project, with an estimated federal cost of $182 million and an estimated non-federal cost of $99 million, the bill authorizes 34 U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ (USACE) projects.

“That we were able to include the Truckee River project in the final cut making the water bill is no small accomplishment and the product of persistence at the local, state and federal levels,” said Amodei. “Now that it has been authorized, I will continue to pursue this project with the House Appropriations Committee and to work with Washoe County and the State of Nevada as they secure additional funding.”

The bill is paid for by deauthorizing $18 billion of old, inactive USACE projects, which is $6 billion more than it authorizes. And, for the first time ever, WRRDA contains zero earmarks. Amodei took issue with some of the Senate language with respect to potential contractors, but said he will address that through other channels.

The bill also increases the funding authorization for rural water projects, making $435 million potentially available to Nevada, Idaho, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming. WRRDA reforms contained in the bill include hard deadlines on the time and costs of studies, the requirement that the Secretary of the Army coordinate with agencies involved in the environmental review process, and the elimination of duplicative analyses.

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A flood protection plan for Northern Nevada may see some major funding from Washington D.C. Senator Harry Reid says that a plan that the House and the Senate have been haggling over for seven years now is about to pass, and that could mean some major funding here.

It's called the Water Resources Reform and Development Act and it would pump billions of dollars into water-related projects nationwide.

That would include dredging, water quality projects, and flood control. "It would mean $280 million for Nevada and that is just what the flood protection planners need," the Senator said from Washington, D.C. today. "We have gone back and forth over this money and both houses are on the verge of passing it. I expect it to pass on Thursday."

Flooding doesn't happen along the Truckee River, but when it does it proves devastating for both Reno and Sparks and the money being released would go toward the area's regional plan.

"It's something Northern Nevada has spent 20 years working on and this would be the final piece of that financial puzzle. It's a very good thing for Northern Nevada."

Senator Reid also said that Reno isn't the only community to lose out on federal safety grants, like the one that will cost Reno firefighters in the upcoming budget. He says there's nothing he can do about the lack of federal funding because it was taken out of his hands. "The problem is this, the senseless sequestration, we got far behind and we haven't been able to catch up. It's the worst thing that's happened since I've been back here."

I also talked politics with the senator including his views on state races this fall, political spending - and what he sees coming up in 2016. I'll have those stories later this week.           

Written by Erin Breen
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