Local politicians vow to fight for Temperance Flat Dam funding

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Elected officials spoke out against the state's decision to deny funding for the Temperance Flat Dam. (KFSN)

Fresno Mayor Lee Brand along with local, state and federal elected officials spoke out Friday against the state's decision to deny funding for Temperance Flat Dam.

"I know everyone standing with me here shares my extreme disappointment and dissatisfaction with the California Water Commission's decision. Not only have they ignored their own facts and guidelines, they have ignored the will of the people. "

After three days of hearings in Sacramento, the State Water Commission voted 4 to 3 against providing enough funding for the dam. Deciding its benefit to the public and the environment was worth less than $200 million dollars. That's far short of the $1 billion supporters were hoping to get from the state for the project.

Republican State Assembly Member Jim Patterson of Fresno said a fix was in from environmental groups opposed to the dam. "No public benefits, no particular value, that's the opposition's point of view and they are well organized and I think they had a funnel right into the deliberations of that staff. "

Democratic Congressman Jim Costa of Fresno felt the state commission overlooked the key benefits of the plan, especially the improvements for fish.

"Clearly, the staff did not take into account, as I noted, the multiple benefits that we would have scored higher on the environment. "

Supporters say building another massive dam in the middle of Millerton Lake would provide irrigation water for farmers and drinking water for cities and towns, but funding for the project was judged primarily on environmental benefits.

Assembly Member Jim Patterson wants to launch a state investigation into the water commission, believing their staff may have colluded with outside opponents of the project.
Related Topics:
politicscalifornia waterwaterFresno CountySacramento
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