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New board ready to move on “financing district” for proposed Salton Sea restoration project

A new board along with a standing room only crowd at the North Shore Beach and Yacht Club Community Center talked Tuesday about what it will take to save the Salton Sea, where the water level is dropping daily.

But, it’s one particular area of North Shore area the board is focused first.

“I think California is missing a great chance to make this the best recreation in Southern California,” said Bombay Beach resident and business owner Sonia Herbert.

A photo of the “North Lake Concept Plan” shows the outline of a proposed berm, or dam, that would encircle a portion of the sea, just off the North Shore coast, with the of goal preventing further shoreline degradation, with an estimated cost of about $350 million.

“The bottom line is how we are going to pay for the restoration and mitigation of the Salton Sea moving forward,” said Riverside County Supervisor V. Manuel Perez.

To provide the money for the dam project, the board will now begin the work of setting up the “Salton Sea Enhanced Infrastructure Financing District”, which is a yet to be determined geographic area, where a portion of county property and sales taxes would be directed to pay for the project.

“This is my backyard, I remember what it used to look like before, and I want to restore it and mitigate it,” said Supervisor Perez.

The board voted Tuesday to appoint County Supervisor Perez as Chairman of the new board.

The board was also directed by county staff to next order a study to be used in coming up with a detailed plan for setting up the financing district.

County Supervisor Jeff Hewitt told us the new financing district could be in place and generating revenue in one year.

“We’ve all got to get involved and hopefully we can cure some things now,” said Hewitt.

The next public board meeting is set for late April, but Supervisor Perez says he wants a meeting scheduled well before that date, and said the date would be announced once it’s selected.

KESQ

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