December 23, 2022

Rep. Mike Levin Delivers Nearly $50 Million for Fifteen Local Projects in Government Funding Legislation

Legislation is now headed to President Biden for Signature

Washington, D.C. – Today, the House of Representatives passed government funding legislation that includes key projects and priorities Rep. Mike Levin (D-CA) secured for North County San Diego and South Orange County. The bill includes $7 million to modernize the SPRINTER Corridor in San Diego County, $4.48 million for mobile behavioral health crisis response teams in San Diego County, $4 million to improve safety and enhance bicycle and pedestrian connectivity on SR-74 in San Juan Capistrano, $3.75 million to purchase a twin-engine firefighting helicopter in San Diego County to help with wildfire response, $3.47 million for the Orange County Intelligence Assessment Center Project, $3 million to build Veterans Memorial Park in Carlsbad, and numerous other projects totaling nearly $50 million for local governments and institutions in the 49th District.

The legislation also contains several of Rep. Levin’s bills, including the Drug Manufacturing Innovation Act to facilitate new manufacturing technologies to address supply chain issues and lower prices, the SOBER HOMES Act to improve the quality of recovery housing, the Mark O’Brien VA Clothing Allowance Improvement Act to make it easier for veterans with service-connected conditions to receive the clothing allowances they deserve, and the Veteran Home Energy Savings Act to increase veterans’ buying power when purchasing energy-efficient homes. The bill also contains language allowing the Environmental Protection Agency to transfer some of the $300 million in federal funding the San Diego congressional delegation previously secured to the International Boundary and Water Commission so that it can implement projects to curb the flow of pollution in the Tijuana River watershed.

“My number one focus is delivering results on our local priorities, and I am thrilled that this bipartisan funding legislation is on the way to President Biden’s desk with key investments to address some of the biggest challenges facing our region,” said Rep. Levin. “This funding will help modernize the SPRINTER Corridor in North County, make our streets safer for pedestrians in Solana Beach, invest in mobile behavioral health crisis response teams, promote water security, and much more. I’m also glad this legislation includes funding for key priorities such as the removal of nuclear waste from San Onofre, the cleanup of cross-border water pollution, and food security for students when school is not in session. The emergency funding to support Ukraine is also paramount for the defense of democracy and to address the humanitarian crisis stemming from Putin’s invasion. I look forward to seeing President Biden sign this bill and ensuring these investments deliver tangible results in our communities over the coming months and years. While I am proud of what we accomplished in this bill, I believe Congress must fund the government in an orderly and transparent way in the future so that the process is not rushed at the end of the year.”

The bill also includes funding Rep. Levin fought to secure for other local priorities, including $53 million for consolidated interim storage of nuclear waste, $1.61 billion for the Impact Aid program, which supports K-12 schools serving children in military families like those at San Onofre Elementary and Mary Fay Elementary, $1.79 million for Oceanside Harbor Dredging, and permanent authorization of a program that provides families who have children eligible for free and reduced-price school meals with an electronic benefit transfer (EBT) card when school is not in session.

To support Ukraine, the legislation provides $45 billion in military and economic aid. That includes more than $9 billion for the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative and $11.88 billion to replenish U.S. stocks of equipment sent to Ukraine. The legislation also includes a provision to allow LT Ridge Alkonis to continue to receive pay and benefits.

See below for a description of each project:

Recipient: City of San Clemente

Avenida Cordoba/Via Avila Storm Drain Improvements: The Avenida Cordoba/Via Avila Storm Drain Improvements project will 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. The City of San Clemente will receive $1.6 million for this project.

Recipient: South Coast Water District

Coastal Recycled Water Expansion Program Del Obispo Recycled Water Project: 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. The South Coast Water District will receive $3.453 million for this project.

Recipient: City of Del Mar

Del Mar Climate Resiliency and Access Improvement Project: 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 $1,768,200 in 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. The city of Del Mar will receive $750,000 for this project.

Recipient: MiraCosta Community College District

Future Technologies to Upskill Rapidly and Effectively (FuTURE): 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. MiraCosta Community College District will receive $1 million for this project.


Recipient: City of Encinitas

Leucadia Streetscape Drainage Improvements, Encinitas, CaliforniaThe 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. The City of Encinitas will receive $4 million for the project.


Recipient: City of Oceanside

Loma Alta Creek Sewer Relocation, Oceanside, California: 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. The City of Oceanside will receive $3.453 million for the project.


Recipient: City of Solana Beach

Lomas Santa Fe Drive, Solana Beach, California: 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. The City of Solana Beach will receive $7 million for this project.


Recipient: County of San Diego


Mobile Crisis Response Team (MCRT) Enhancement, County of San Diego: 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. The County of San Diego will receive $4.48 million for this project.


Recipient: County of Orange


Orange County Intelligence Assessment Project: 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. The County of Orange will receive $3.47 million for this project.


Recipient: County of San Diego


San Diego County Twin-Engine Firefighting Helicopter Project: 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. The County of San Diego will receive $3.75 million for this project.


Recipient: City of Vista


Sidewalk Improvement and Enhanced Street Lighting Project, Vista, California: 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. The City of Vista will receive $2.231 million for this project.


Recipient: North County Transit District


SPRINTER Corridor Service Improvement Project, San Diego County, California: 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. The North County Transit District will receive $7 million for this project.


Recipient: Orange County Transportation Authority

State Route 74 (SR-74) Improvements, Orange County, California: This project will close a 1.1-mile gap in general purpose lanes and enhance 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. The Orange County Transportation Authority will receive $4 million for this project.


Recipient: City of Dana Point

Stonehill Drive Utility Undergrounding Project, Dana Point, California: 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. The City of Dana Point will receive $750,000 for this project.


Recipient: City of Carlsbad

Veterans Memorial Park Project, Carlsbad, California: 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. The City of Carlsbad will receive $3 million for this project.