The Three Rivers Levee Improvement Authority will receive a $2 million loan from the Yuba Water Agency to help advance its Goldfields levee project.

The loan was approved by YWA board members at last week’s meeting. The loan will be used to help acquire approximately 108 acres of land for the project. The rest of the funding that will be used to purchase the land, which is estimated to cost a total of $7.7 million, will come from the California Department of Water Resources.

“In order for us to move forward on our project, we asked YWA to help out with an advance loan, so we are thankful for their assistance,” said Paul Brunner, executive director of TRLIA. 

The state has committed to reimbursing TRLIA for a number of flood protection projects it has carried out in the past, Brunner said. Once those funds are awarded, TRLIA will reimburse YWA. As part of the agreement, TRLIA must reimburse the agency by 2020. 

TRLIA is in the process of planning levee work in the Goldfields that will bring that levee system up to 200-year levee standards, meaning there is a 1-in-200 chance in any given year that a storm could overwhelm the system that protects Reclamation District 784’s service area. 

The water agency said the loan is part of its long-standing mission to reduce flood risk in Yuba County. In the past, the agency has helped TRLIA with policy, technical and financial aid, including carrying the local cost-share for the construction of the Feather River Setback Levee.

The land acquisitions will be carried out through the rest of the year, Brunner said. TRLIA plans on going out to bid on the Goldfields levee project around February 2020. 

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