The Yuba County Board of Supervisors approved funds to repair a number of washed out foothill roads, but actual work is on hold until Public Works gets approval from environmental regulatory agencies.
On Tuesday the Board approved the use of $370,000 in contingency money from the county’s general fund to pay for the needed repairs.
Yuba County Public Works Director Mike Lee said six roads in the Bullards Bar region washed out during the early January storms and require significant repairs. Federal law requires the county to consult with environmental resource agencies before proceeding with construction. Lee said a biologist hired by the county is currently performing tests to determine the potential for impacts to endangered species. The results will be submitted to agency regulators, after which it will be a matter of waiting for approval to begin repairs.
Yuba County officials are hopeful much of the repair costs will eventually be covered by state and federal disaster assistance funds. Should the President declare a disaster as a result of the storms, Federal-aid reimbursement monies will become available to local agencies such as Yuba County. The county must adhere to federal environmental laws or risk jeopardizing the opportunity to receive federal reimbursement.
“We want to assure our residents who rely on these roads that we are ready to begin the repairs, as soon as we get the word,” Lee said. “The environmental requirements cannot be bypassed and unfortunately the repairs will be delayed until we get a green light from the regulators.”
The six roads washed out by the storms include Oregon Hill Road, Indiana Ranch Road, Weeds Point Road, Pendola Road, Fountain House Road and Celestial Valley Way.