SANDAG adjusts Environmental Mitigation Program budgets

The San Diego Association of Governments’ Sept. 28 meeting included a report on delegated actions taken by SANDAG’s executive director, and the items include transferring $247,000 from the overall biological mitigation fund to four specific Environmental Mitigation Program projects associated with the State Route 76 widening.

The transfers from the overall fund during July and August increased the budget for the Zwiestra property from $459,000 to $526,000, for the Tabata parcel from $1,077,000 to $1,137,000, for the State Route 76 Benefit budget from $25,321,500 to $25,381,500, and for the Vessels Stallion Crossing project from $6,552,000 to $6,612,000.

The Environmental Mitigation Program is part of the TransNet half-cent sales tax and helps fund environmental mitigation of transportation projects. When TransNet was established there was no definite knowledge of how the EMP funding would be specifically used, so an umbrella account was created. The July and August transfers reduce the unspecified funding from $272,156,100 to $271,909,100.

The mitigation work on the 19.38-acre Zwiestra site involves removal of non-native species and revegetation with native species. The 23.1-acre Tabata property had formerly been farm fields and will be graded before being revegetated. The State Route 76 Benefit project involves earthen dam work. Work on the 162-acre Vessels site will include lowering the ground level to increase groundwater capture and subsequent revegetation.

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