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Budget Department : PUBLIC WORKS
2021-22 Recommended Expenditures
* Other includes all segments less than 1% of the total. Negative segments are not shown.
By Budget Division 2021-22 Recommended 2020-21 Adopted Variance from 2020-21 Adopted

In 2019-21, Public Works will focus on resolving multiple operational and financial challenges across all divisions.


Fleet Replacement: Public Works is responsible for the maintenance, repair and replacement of a motorized fleet comprised of nearly 200 vehicles and heavy equipment that is used to maintain critical public infrastructure. The fleet is challenged with aging and obsolete equipment that in many cases is reaching the end of its useful life. In fiscal years 2019-21, the department will implement a surplus, repair and replacement plan to meet the existing and future challenges, will actively pursue new vehicle and equipment purchases, and surplus old and obsolete items.
Corporation Yards: Public Works operates and maintains three Corporation Yards (Live Oak, Felton and Watsonville) that provide facilities for Road and Fleet Maintenance, Construction Management, Flood Control, and fueling stations. The yards are equipped with aging infrastructure that need on-going repairs for efficient and safe facility function. Over the next two years, Public Works will prioritize safety and efficiency upgrades at its Corporation Yards while the county -wide facility master planning effort is taking place. Public Works anticipates the facilities master plan currently being developed by the County Administrative Office will provide a road map for future Corporation Yard upgrades.


Winter Storms Update: Since the 2016-17 Winter Storms, Public Works has expended $42.7 million in repairs. The expected reimbursement from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the California Office of Emergency Services (Cal-OES) is $30 million. Additional funding for storm damage repairs include $1 million from the General fund and $6 million from new gas tax, SB 1. Due to the strong environmental protections in our State, many projects undergo environmental review and permitting before repairs can commence. When project delays occur, Public Works requests a time extension to complete projects. FEMA has a three-year time limit to complete repairs on projects and the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) has a two-year limit to complete projects. In previous disaster declarations, these time extensions were granted routinely. The FHWA has denied time extensions for March 2016 storm damage projects, which puts $2 million worth of repairs at risk. An additional $35 million in repair projects is potentially at risk when FHWA time extensions are requested later in 2019. The Road Fund begins 2019-20 with a $6.1 million budget gap from storm damage repair projects that have been completed, but have not received reimbursement, or been denied reimbursement or costs deemed ineligible. The fund balance on June 30, 2021 is projected to be negative in the amount of $5.5 million. The department is actively working with local, State and federal officials on solving these funding issues. Potential solutions include exploring bond financing options, and pursuing legislative changes to the time allowed to complete repairs. Public Works is developing a multi-year financial recovery plan to eliminate the negative fund balance. Active Transportation Infrastructure: Public Works will continue to seek grant funds to inventory existing facilities and plan for future active transportation facilities such as enhanced bike lanes and pedestrian improvements. The department will work with the Santa Cruz County Regional Transportation Commission and other partners to design and permit sections of the Monterey Bay Sanctuary Scenic Trail (Rail Trail) within the unincorporated areas of the County. In addition, the department will create a pedestrian crosswalk policy and identify facilities that need pedestrian safety upgrades such as pedestrian activated rapid flashing beacon systems at existing crosswalks on County maintained roads. Congested Corridors Management: Over the next fiscal year, DPW will be involved in several Congestion Management and Transportation Planning solutions on the County maintained road system to improve the traffic flow and enhance critical transportation corridors. The scope of this effort includes, but is not limited to, signalized intersection improvements, corridor signal synchronization and adaptation, operational improvements and congested corridor planning. In addition, DPW will work closely with the Planning Department on the Circulation Element update to the General Plan.


Recycling and Solid Waste: The Buena Vista Landfill and Ben Lomond Transfer Station have multiple challenges related to recycling, planning for future landfill needs, and costs related to implementing new organics laws. The department is exploring establishing a Capital Improvement Program (CIP) for both the landfill and transfer station which will create an ongoing financing structure to finance deferred maintenance on facilities and equipment. Drainage: Flood Control Zones 5 and 6 have revenue challenges and an inability to pay for liability costs related to lawsuits from the 2006 Winter Storms. There is a lack of funding to upgrade aging infrastructure and meet state and federal mandates. Public Works is exploring funding opportunities for a Zone 5 Master Plan, along with a CIP, which will determine the amounts needed to replace infrastructure and fund National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) stormwater permit requirements. Additionally, the department will review permitting requirements for downstream impacts. A potential solution is assessing an impact fee on the new developers, rather than a requirement to work with the downstream property owners to fix deficiencies. Storm Drain Infrastructure Improvements: DPW is responsible for the maintenance of 5,000 culverts county-wide. Many of these culverts were installed in the 1950�s-1970�s and are reaching the end of their service life. In the 2019-20, DPW will complete an inventory and condition analysis of the County maintained road storm drain system and will prioritize the rehabilitation or replacement of these critical facilities. Pajaro River Flood Control: Work continues on the Pajaro River Levee project. Securing Federal Fiscal Year 2020 work plan funds to support the planning, engineering and development phase of the project is a top priority. Additionally, DPW is partnering with Congressman Jimmy Panetta and Senators Diane Feinstein and Kamala Harris on securing ongoing appropriations for the levee project, potentially through appropriations carve-out language in the federal budget. Lastly, the district is exploring the potential to form a new governing body and finance options to support the levee project, including outreach and public/stakeholder engagement.

For additional information please see the full budget document.