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Cost of River Restoration Project Rising Quickly in Los Angeles

Questions are emerging about the funding equation for an ambitious $1 billion proposal to improve 11 miles of the Los Angeles River through some of the most urban parts of the city.
March 26, 2015, 9am PDT | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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David Zahniser shares news of a Los Angeles Chief Legislative Analyst report that puts a much higher price tag on the cost of restoring the Los Angeles River than originally thought. 

A plan approved by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers last year was expected to cost $1 billion, with the city and the federal government splitting the costs of the massive program.

But, according to Zahniser, 

"[I]n a report released last week, Chief Legislative Analyst Sharon Tso said the Corps of Engineers is looking at making the city responsible for $965 million, or least 71% of the cost of the river restoration. A second option being weighed by federal officials would put the city's share at nearly $1.2 billion, or 87% of the financial obligation…"

The article includes a lot more detail about how the river restoration must be funded—a question complicated by the expensive cost of land in Los Angeles. So far a tax increment financing district is among the ideas on the table. Project proponents have at least one factor working in their favor—the timeline for the project is expected to run for about 30 to 50 years, so there is no particular rush in solving the eqution right now or all at once.

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Published on Wednesday, March 25, 2015 in Los Angeles Times
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