Rep. Mike Levin Secures $50 Million in Federal Funding Legislation for Local Projects and Priorities
Investments Would Fund Road Improvements, Water Infrastructure, Public Safety, and More
Oceanside, CA – Today, U.S. Representative Mike Levin (D-CA) announced he has secured $50 million in federal funding legislation to invest in 15 local projects and priorities. That total includes $7 million to help the North County Transit District (NCTD) improve SPRINTER service, $7 million to improve infrastructure for pedestrians and cyclists on Lomas Santa Fe Drive, $4.48 million to enhance the Mobile Crisis Response Team (MCRT) program in San Diego County, $3.47 million to invest in the Orange County Intelligence Assessment Center (OCIAC), and more.
“My top priority is delivering results on our local needs, and I’m proud to report that the House appropriations legislation includes funding to address many of the most pressing issues facing North County San Diego and South Orange County,” said Rep. Levin. “This funding will allow our region to invest in safer roads and highways, local water supply, public safety, fighting wildfires, higher education, and much more. I look forward to working with my colleagues and local stakeholders to ensure this funding remains in the final FY 2023 funding legislation.”
The inclusion of this funding in the House Appropriations subcommittee-approved legislation is the first step in the funding process. Rep. Levin will continue to fight for this funding as the bill moves to the full Appropriations Committee, consideration on the House Floor, and negotiations with the Senate.
During the Fiscal Year 2022 appropriations process, Rep. Levin secured $21 million for eight local projects in addition to two others that were funded through the bipartisan infrastructure law.
See below for a full list of the projects:
Project Name: Avenida Cordoba/Via Avila Storm Drain Improvements
Recipient: City of San Clemente
Funding Amount: $1.6 million
Explanation of the request: The City of San Clemente is seeking $1.6 million to improve storm drains on Via Avila/Avenida Cordoba. Currently, the stormwater runoff at this intersection does not properly outlet into the canyon. The project has been fully designed and will facilitate proper drainage into the outlet canyon east of Via Avila to alleviate street flooding and maintain roadway integrity during flooding events. Not only will this project relieve flooding on asphalt streets, but it will also help recharge local, natural groundwater systems and drainage, thereby supporting the natural environment and promoting water security, which is a top regional priority.
Project Name: Coastal Recycled Water Expansion Program Del Obispo Recycled Water Project
Recipient: South Coast Water District
Funding Amount: $3.45 million
Explanation of the request: This project includes two phases of infrastructure implementation that will install 8,900 linear feet of recycled water pipeline and convert 37 sites from potable to recycled water usage, saving over 35 million gallons of potable water per year. The Project will increase the overall water supply availability by producing new local potable water supplies in place of imported water and ultimately benefit the Colorado River Basin and northern California. It will also significantly decrease imported drinking water use, increase water supply reliability, and improve regional self-reliance by using existing locally available water resources.
Project Name: Del Mar Climate Resiliency and Access Improvement Project
Recipient: City of Del Mar
Funding Amount: $750,000
Explanation of the request: The Del Mar Climate Resiliency and Access Improvement Project would enhance mobility and adaptation to the effects of climate change in the City of Del Mar and the surrounding area. The City of Del Mar is requesting funding for the Climate Resiliency and Access Improvement project which will help to implement 1) pre-construction monitoring and project notification for a future sand replenishment project, 2) complete a conceptual design for a flood mitigation project, and 3) connect existing trails to expand pedestrian access and create a scenic loop trail network through the entire city. With California facing the ever-growing threats of climate change, the City of Del Mar is committed to providing local solutions to meet the immediate needs of its residents and visitors.
With the partnership of Rep. Levin’s office and the House Appropriations Committee, the City is requesting funding to help implement common-sense solutions to provide greater public access to natural open spaces and public recreation opportunities and increase safety for residents. This project would implement several initiatives to increase mobility and make the city resilient to the effects of climate change.
Project Name: Future Technologies to Upskill Rapidly and Effectively (FuTURE)
Recipient: MiraCosta Community College District
Funding Amount: $1 million
Explanation of the request: MiraCosta College’s Technology Career Institute (TCI) prepares our workforce for careers in critical and growing sectors of our local economy through hands-on training. The courses and programs currently offered at TCI in engineering, manufacturing, biomedical equipment, and emerging technologies address skills gaps in middle-to-high skilled occupations where there is critical need. TCI has partnered with over 150 companies in the San Diego area to provide a talent pipeline for growing businesses in transportation, biotech, and communications.
This funding would help TCI expand its capacity to serve more students using the latest technology. TCI will use this funding to expand their course offerings to include virtual and augmented reality, artificial intelligence, robotics, and automation. With this funding, TCI expects to train at least 445 students. This program will also make education and certificates at TCI more accessible to a diverse community. With this funding, TCI will be able to reduce tuitions that typically run from $1,500 to $7,500 down to no more than $1,000 for any individual. It will also help them provide child care and transportation services for participants in the short-term, intensive training program.
Project Name: Leucadia Streetscape Drainage Improvements, Encinitas, California
Recipient: City of Encinitas
Funding Amount: $4 million
Explanation of the request: The section of North Coast Highway 101 that traverses the community of Leucadia is relatively flat and lies at a low point between a rail corridor and coastal bluffs. The drainage infrastructure in place on North Coast Highway 101 is not sufficient to handle moderate storm events. This project would fund new drainage infrastructure with pipes up to 66 inches in diameter that will address longstanding flooding through the corridor that leaves ponding on North Coast Highway 101 and negatively impacts local residences and businesses.
Project Name: Loma Alta Creek Sewer Relocation, Oceanside, California
Recipient: City of Oceanside
Request Amount: $3.45 million
Explanation of the request: This project will relocate a sewer main from a location within a creek bed to a roadway, which will minimize the chance of environmental damage in the event of a Sanitary Sewer Overflow. This project will renew the pipeline and minimize risk of sewer spills into a waterway. Not only will this project benefit the greater Oceanside community by improving its wastewater infrastructure, but it will also protect and improve aquatic resources and water quality in the Loma Alta Creek, a Clean Water Act listed waterway.
Project Name: Lomas Santa Fe Drive, Solana Beach, California
Recipient: City of Solana Beach
Funding Amount: $7 million
Explanation of the request: Lomas Sante Fe Drive is an essential east-west transportation corridor in Solana Beach, California, that provides access to schools, a public library, shopping centers, community facilities, the beach, the Coastal Rail Trail along Highway 101, and San Dieguito Regional Park. However, the corridor lacks modern multi-modal infrastructure for pedestrian and cyclist safety and vehicular traffic calming. The overall objective of the community project funding request is to transform this automobile-oriented roadway into a more pedestrian- and bicycle-friendly corridor by constructing a multi-use trail, widening sidewalks, extending curbs, improving Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) compliance, improving signal timing to increase pedestrian and driver awareness, and reducing congestion.
This newly constructed multi-modal transportation corridor will allow residents, students, commuters, and visitors to more safely travel by bicycle, foot, automobile, or transit to two community shopping centers, schools, offices, and community facilities. The project will benefit the community by providing a continuous multi-use trail accessible to users of all ages and abilities and will encourage walking and bicycling in lieu of auto trips.
Project Name: Mobile Crisis Response Team (MCRT) Enhancement, County of San Diego
Recipient: County of San Diego
Funding Amount: $4.48 million
Explanation of the request: Many calls to law enforcement agencies involve a behavioral health crisis but do not require law enforcement intervention. Behavioral health professionals can more effectively address non-violent behavioral health incidents. In 2020, the County of San Diego Behavioral Health Services (BHS) department launched the Mobile Crisis Response Team (MCRT) program to help people who are experiencing a mental health or substance use crisis by dispatching behavioral health experts to emergency calls instead of law enforcement, when appropriate. Teams are comprised of clinicians, case managers, and peer support specialists who travel to these individuals anywhere they are in the county. The MCRTs provide assessment, crisis intervention services, and connections to treatment and other services such as transportation as needed. MCRT services are offered through two contracted organizations and serve individuals of all ages. Services are designed to improve health equity, ensure appropriate levels of care, increase safety, and reduce law enforcement interventions.
The requested funding would enhance the MCRT program by adding overnight and weekend coverage for four MCRT teams, seven days per week. Each team is composed of one clinician, one case manager, and one peer and administrative support specialist, and would cost $1.12 million including salaries, benefits, and associated operational/indirect costs.
Project Name: Orange County Intelligence Assessment Project
Recipient: County of Orange
Funding Amount: $3.47 million
Explanation of the request: In 2007, the Orange County Sheriff’s Department established the Orange County Intelligence Assessment Center (OCIAC) Fusion Center, which serves as the focal point for receiving, analyzing, gathering, and sharing threat-related information between the federal government and state, local, tribal, and private sector partners. OCIAC participants include the Orange County Sheriff’s Department, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Department of Homeland Security (DHS), and local police departments. OCIAC fields about 1,100 tips each year and serves as the central point for vetting and sharing information with the FBI and DHS. OCIAC supports local and federal agencies in responding to white supremacist groups, violence against faith-based communities, and cybercrime.
The County is purchasing a 120,000-square-foot office building that will house and bring together OCIAC, the Sheriff’s Crime Analysis Unit, and relevant technology staff. The building will contain a Sensitive Compartmented Information Facility (SCIF) used by analysts and personnel from multiple law enforcement agencies. This building will require $12 million in equipment and supplies.
The County has requested $3.47 million to cover part of the cost of equipment, supplies, and cybercrime software. This funding would help the County protect the region and advance public safety. The equipment purchases would include workstations and specialized technology for analysts and law enforcement personnel, smart boards for Fusion Center conference rooms to enable intelligence data sharing, and an emergency generator. This funding will also help the County purchase software programs to search cell phone communication and perform complex cyber investigations. This enhanced OCIAC will serve all Orange County residents and will better preserve public safety.
Project Name: San Diego County Twin-Engine Firefighting Helicopter Project
Recipient: County of San Diego
Funding Amount: $3.75 million
Explanation of the request: The funds will be used to purchase a twin-engine firefighting helicopter. San Diego County’s existing helicopters are being aged out and must be replaced. Each one is a single engine helicopter that is built out of a 1970s airframe. Because they are single engine, the helicopters don’t have the ability to drop water at night. A twin-engine helicopter allows for firefighting both day and night, and increases the amount of water deployed with each drop. In cases of engine failure, a single engine significantly increases the risk to the crew and anyone being hoisted during a rescue. A twin-engine helicopter can still function and safely land if one of the engines goes out. In rural San Diego County, there are thousands of acres of forest at risk of fire. There are also over 100,000 structures in the designated high fire risk area in the County. Over 80% of the area qualifies as a disadvantaged community. These forests and communities have suffered from devastating wildfires and fire risk is only getting more severe. During the past two decades, over 600,000 acres have burned, nearly 5,000 homes have been destroyed, and dozens of lives have been lost.
Project Name: Sidewalk Improvement and Enhanced Street Lighting Project, Vista, California
Recipient: City of Vista
Funding Amount: $2.23 million
Explanation of the request: This project will fund the installation of frontage improvements that will enhance safety and improve multimodal transportation access along the south side of Nevada Avenue, from N. Santa Fe Avenue to Lemon Avenue, and east side of Lemon Avenue, from Nevada Avenue to Raintree Place. Specific improvements include road widening and new curbs, Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)-compliant corner ramps, restriping roads and crosswalks, and installing new lights. The City of Vista Sidewalk Improvement and Enhanced Street Lighting Project is a good use of taxpayer funds because it will ensure that pedestrians in the Townsite neighborhood have access to safe pedestrian facilities and improve lighting throughout the neighborhood for the benefit of residents and users of multiple modes of transportation.
Project Name: SPRINTER Corridor Service Improvement Project, San Diego County, California
Recipient: North County Transit District
Funding Amount: $7 million
Explanation of the request: This funding would complete the design of phase two of the project, which will modernize the SPRINTER signal system. The broader project seeks to increase the frequency of service from 30-minute headways to 15-minute headways by making improvements to the rail signals and double tracking 9.5 miles along the SPRINTER corridor.
This project is a valuable use of taxpayer funds because increased service frequencies will especially help low-income, minority, housing-burdened, and linguistically isolated people by improving access to public services, health care, educational institutions, and employment opportunities. This project also directly supports local, regional, and statewide plans to foster economic prosperity and social equity. Investment in this project will generate a viable mobility alternative to using personal vehicles, which will decrease harmful emissions and improve air quality.
Project Name: State Route 74 (SR-74) Improvements, Orange County, California
Recipient: Orange County Transportation Authority
Funding Amount: $4 million
Explanation of the request: This project will close a 1.1-mile gap in general purpose lanes and enhances bicycle and pedestrian connectivity on SR-74 (Ortega Highway) in San Juan Capistrano, California, between Calle Entradero and Reata Road. The project will construct one additional lane in each direction and a five- to eight-foot shoulder on each side to accommodate a total of 2.2 miles of Class II bicycle lanes. It will also construct approximately 850 feet of new sidewalk, reconstruct 1,200 feet of existing sidewalk, install a signalized intersection and pedestrian crossing, and construct a 12-foot-wide striped median. The project addresses the long-standing needs of the local community to accommodate planned growth and development in the surrounding areas and provide multimodal improvements consistent with local and regional planning documents and statewide transportation objectives.
Project Name: Stonehill Drive Utility Undergrounding Project, Dana Point, California
Recipient: City of Dana Point
Funding Amount: $750,000
Explanation of the request: This community project funding request will help the city of Dana Point, CA relocate overhead powerlines and other equipment underground on Stonehill Drive, a publicly owned street. Undergrounding power lines and other equipment helps protect the natural landscape, enhance road safety, and reduce the risk of wildfires. Undergrounding utilities can also reduce the likelihood and consequence of impacts to the electric grid in the case of extreme weather, wildfire, or natural disaster.
Project Name: Veterans Memorial Park Project, Carlsbad, California
Recipient: City of Carlsbad
Funding Amount: $3 million
Explanation of the request: The City of Carlsbad General Plan’s Open Space, Conservation and Recreation Element identifies the Veterans Memorial Park as a future community park. The design intent is a family-oriented park with an array of multi-generational and inclusive amenities that are incorporated into active and passive recreational elements. Objectives that informed the design include avoidance of sensitive habitat areas, maximization of stormwater retention, and safety and visibility. Honoring veterans for their service, minimizing environmental impacts, and celebrating the site’s natural beauty are also integral components. The project involves design; permitting; public outreach; construction grading; establishing utility connections and site drainage; constructing hardscape, electrical, and landscape; developing parking lots and amenities; and incorporating public art. This project will benefit Carlsbad’s estimated 114,250 residents and four million visitors each year, including those from neighboring cities that lack access to new park facilities. For this reason, the San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG) has identified the Veterans Memorial Park as a regional open space park, indicating that the park will serve a regional need. It will facilitate passive and active recreation for individuals of all ages and abilities; promote health and wellness and active lifestyles; and provide space for community events, among other benefits.