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St. Helena ties up loose end to secure flood project-era grant

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City of St. Helena

Eleven years after St. Helena built its flood project, the city is finishing the paperwork.

The City Council on Tuesday approved a conservation easement with the Napa County Land Trust on 7.6 acres of floodplain adjacent to the levee.

Under a 2009 grant agreement, the city was required to set up the easement as a condition of receiving $237,148 in reimbursement funds from the California Department of Water Resources. Once the easement is recorded and the city submits one last “baseline study” evaluating the site, the agency will release the money.

"I'm glad this is finally here after many, many years," said Vice Mayor Paul Dohring.

City Attorney Ethan Walsh said most of the negotiations involving the easement and the grant occurred a year ago under his predecessor, Kara Ueda, but the final approval was delayed due to staff turnover and other pressing projects.

Walsh said the easement won’t preclude possible street extensions in the area mentioned in the General Plan, including a potential extension of Adams Street over the Napa River to Silverado Trail, as long as the construction meets certain environmental standards.

Walsh noted there are no immediate plans to extend Adams Street.

“It could be five years from now, it could be 10 years from now, it could be never,” he said.

Finance Director April Mitts recommended setting aside the grant money for levee maintenance.

Napa renames its waterfront pathway the Harry T. Price Riverwalk, after the late developer who advocated for a promenade to provide Napa River views for all.

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You can reach Jesse Duarte at 967-6803 or jduarte@sthelenastar.com.

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