Lake Perris Funding:
Lake Perris is not only a vital source of water for our region, it is also an important recreational place for our families and visitors to our region.
Lake Perris currently has an earthen dam which could collapse in the event of an earthquake. As a result, there has been continued concern about whether the State would be able to fund a replacement dam for Lake Perris.
A 2005 analysis of the potential danger of the dam collapsing resulted in water levels being kept 40 percent lower than capacity -- this affects the availability of vital drinking water and has reduced the number of boats allowed to use the lake.
The cost for replacing the dam, even when shared between water agencies and the State, has been a major obstacle to making necessary improvements. Recently, work by the State's Department of Water Resources has significantly reduced the cost of a new dam and related work for less than half of what earlier estimates had been.
Last week, a State Senate's budget subcommittee unanimously approved funding for Lake Perris. The majority of this funding will be paid for through the use of a 2006 water and parks bond. The State Assembly's budget subcommittee also unanimously approved funds for the needed work at Lake Perris and the project is now fully funded in the California State Legislature proposed State Budget.
There is a Constitutional deadline for the Legislature to pass the budget bill by midnight, June 15, 2013. The Governor decides on budget bill vetoes and signs the Budget Act and budget trailer Bills prior to July 1, when California's Fiscal Year begins.
Lake Perris is a unique facility providing drinking water and recreation and this investment will continue to improve Lake Perris and our region for years to come.
RICHARD D. ROTH
Senator, 31st District