Voters to decide on bond deal
Voters will decide in November on four statewide bond issues, one of which would earmark $5.3 million for Nevada County road work.
The four debt issues would raise $35.99 billion to fund transportation, education, housing and flood control projects. They will appear on November’s ballot, with Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s support.
Rural lawmakers from both parties, including Sen. Sam Aanestad, R-Grass Valley, forced Southern California legislators to include a formula in the transportation bill that specifically directs money to rural counties and cities, Aanestad spokesman William Bird said.
Yet even that money would be small in comparison to county needs.
“I’m always glad to get funding for our favorite thing,” Nevada County Transportation Commission director Dan Landon said.
But the cost to build the Dorsey Drive interchange is estimated at $26 million. Very preliminary estimates of the cost to widen Highway 49 from Combie Road to Grass Valley come to more than $100 million.
The half-cent, county-wide sales tax also being considered for the ballot would raise $57 million for local projects over 10 years, Landon said.
State senators passed the bond measures late Thursday, then Assembly members wrangled over them into the early hours Friday.
Aanestad supported the $19 billion transportation bond and the $4.09 billion levee and flood control bond, Bird said.
The transportation bond includes $1 billion for cities and another $1 billion for counties. Of that money, 25 percent would be granted based on the number of miles.
Spending bills typically distribute money based on population and favor big cities. However, Nevada County has more road miles than San Francisco, Bird said.
“Aanestad and other rural lawmakers lobbied late into the night to restore that $1 billion in funding” for counties that other legislators had stripped from the transportation bill, Bird said.
Under that formula, Nevada County’s share of the $19 billion transportation bond package would be $5.3 million, “with no purse strings attached,” Bird said. “The county can spend it as they see fit on transportation needs.”
In addition, Grass Valley would receive a direct grant of $417,000 and Nevada City would receive $400,000 under separate grants to cities, Bird said. It was not immediately clear how much Truckee would receive, but all cities would get at least $400,000 Bird said.
The 12 counties in Aanestad’s 4th Senate District would receive $72 million, Bird said.
The Disaster Preparedness and Flood Prevention Bond Act of 2006, totaling $4.09 billion, would provide at least $3 billion for flood protection projects in Northern California and the Delta region, Bird said.
The education bond, for $10.3 billion, and the housing bond, for $2.6 billion, do not have formulas to provide extra help to rural counties, Bird said, and Aanestad voted against them.
It was not immediately clear how much money from those debt issues would come to Nevada County.
To contact staff writer Trina Kleist, e-mail trinak@theunion .com or call 477-4231.
The following is a list of how much money each Northern California County would receive under the transportation bond passed by the State Legislature early Friday. Senator Aanestad’s 12-County District would receive more than $72 million for transportation projects. This funding is for counties only.
Del Norte: $1,809,903.24
– Source: Office of Senator Sam Aanestad
The following is a list of how much money some cities would receive if voters pass a transportation bond that will be on November’s ballot. State legislators passed the bond measure early Friday. Cities would receive at least $400,000 under the plan. In Sen. Sam Aanestad’s district, cities getting larger amounts and the Grass Valley-Nevada City area would get:
Grass Valley: $417,343
Nevada City: $400,000
Red Bluff: $439,997
Yuba City: $1,922,380
– Source: Sen. Sam Aanestad’s office
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