Del Norte may receive additional congressional-directed spending for shipping management and renovations to Pykes Field; county still awaiting $3.08 million for jail renovations | Wild Rivers Outpost

Jessica Cejnar Andrews / Today at 1:33 p.m. / Infrastructure, Local government

Del Norte may receive additional congressional-directed spending for shipping management and renovations to Pykes Field; County still awaits $3.08 million for jail renovations

Del Norte County still does not have the $3.08 million in federal funding to pay for the renovation of its correctional facility. But once he receives those dollars, he should be “relatively free,” according to the county lobbyist in Washington DC.

It’s also possible that other congressional-directed spending dollars will be sent to Del Norte County courtesy of Congressman Jared Huffman and U.S. Senator Alex Padilla, Greg Burns of Thorn Run Partners said. Tuesday to county supervisors.

According to Burns, Huffman requested $550,000 to upgrade computer-assisted dispatch and case management systems at the Del Norte County Sheriff’s Office. And Padilla asked for $1.5 million for the Pyke Field renovation, Burns said.

“I will say these funds are not a done deal,” Burns said of Huffman’s request. “They’re not likely to fall off on their own, but this type of congressional-directed spending tends to go away as the year goes on and Congress has to work through the various bills. But we are in the best possible position with regard to this funding.

Burns said he hopes that after the Nov. 8 general election and by the end of the calendar year, he will have some good news to share with Del Norte County supervisors regarding that potential $550,000. .

As for Padilla’s request for $1.5 million to renovate Pyke Field, Burns said he doesn’t know if that project has been funded or not, but he should have an update this month.

Meanwhile, the $3.08 million for renovations to the Del Norte County Jail came from US Senator Dianne Feinstein last year. In March, county officials were told to wait for those dollars, but not until the 2022-23 fiscal year, County Administrative Officer Neal Lopez told the Wild Rivers Outpost in May.

On Tuesday, Burns said he worked with Lopez and CAO assistant Randy Hooper to ensure the county actually received that $3.08 million. But he doesn’t have them in hand yet, he told supervisors.

“I will say we’ve had a few ups and downs along the way, but we’ve definitely started the conversations, figuring out what potential cost shares that might be associated with the funds,” Burns said. “We are happy to collectively report that it looks like it should be relatively uncongested and give you all as much flexibility as possible for this prison renovation, as could be the case with any federal funding, because there always has conditions attached.”

In May, Lopez noted that since it had been 10 years since federal lawmakers were able to apply for funding through the Community Funded Projects program, formerly known as earmarks, they were updating guidelines on how local jurisdictions can spend that. silver.

This $3.08 million would not be enough to completely rebuild the prison, which was built in the 1960s and last renovated in the 1990s, but it could be used as local matching for other grants, potentially of the state, Lopez told the Outpost.

Burns also spoke about the Forest Opportunities for Resources and Education through Timber Sales (FORESTS) Act, HR 8091, introduced by Republican Representatives Cathy McMorris Rodgers and Dan Newhouse of Washington State on June 15.

On Tuesday, Del Norte County supervisors voted 4-0-1 to send a letter of support for the FORESTS Act to Huffman, Feinstein and Padilla without any discussion. District 3 Supervisor Chris Howard was absent.

According to a county staff report, the FORESTS Act would establish active management forest areas within national forests with a fixed annual volume requirement for timber production to manage areas that are “crowded and suitable for commercial harvesting.” “.

The law would encourage local collaboration in the management of these areas, exclude their management from the national environmental policy law process, and allow these projects to waive judicial review in favor of arbitration if they are contentious.

The FORESTS Act would also ensure that 25% of revenue generated from a management project in an active forest management area would go to local counties, according to the county staff report.

Most of Del Norte County consists of public lands, primarily the Six Rivers National Forest, which is susceptible to wildfires. The staff report also says the 25% share of county timber sales required by the FORESTS Act would prohibit states from withholding those dollars.

“It’s a very broad bill and it has a lot of great stuff in it,” Burns said of the FORESTS bill. “I don’t think it’s going to go anywhere in this Congress, to be honest. But, that said, it doesn’t hurt to have him as a marker for the next Congress, especially if we see the kind of electoral changes in the makeup of Congress that many people expect.


• Letter of support for the FORESTS Act


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