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5.0 FUNDING STRATEGIES AND SOURCES

Conceptually, funding would derive from four sources: (1) federal funds, principally through the Bureau of Reclamation, but also through other grant programs; (2) state funds, principally through the Wildlife Conservation Board, but also through fish stamps, recreation user fees, and grants; (3) local funds, including assessments, and, potentially, landfill mitigation fees; and (4) revenues from the remediation project measures themselves, including the sale of mitigation bank credits, the tax increment from expanded development, power sales, water sales, and the sale or lease of reclaimed land.

Figure 9 illustrates how various revenue sources are associated with the solutions to the three issues of salinity, elevation, and pollutants, and with the fourth area: enhancements to wildlife habitat, recreation opportunities, etc. An important concept embodied in the chart is that of a fair share approach to financing the needed measures and improvements. Needed revenues would be derived from user groups who benefit from the Sea, including agricultural, water, wildlife, and recreation interests. Equally as important, maximum emphasis is placed on the potential to generate revenues from the solutions and improvements.

Table 2 illustrates how funding from project beneficiaries could be generated over time. Initially, assessments on agriculture and urban water users in the Salton Sea area, combined with visitor fees, would provide revenues which would enable the Authority to sell bonds to raise the capital dollars which would ultimately be derived from local funding sources. Total revenues from these sources would increase over time as improvements to the Sea created additional uses in these areas. As the improvements become significant enough to motivate new development, tax increment revenues would begin to contribute to the funding package.

Figure 10 depicts a possible incremental approach to improvements and funding. In the first three years, $100 million in revenue from the state, the two counties, and revenue bonds underwritten by the revenues from project beneficiaries (Table 2) would finance constructed wetlands, small diked areas, a small scale power project, needed land acquisition, and a portion of enhancements to wildlife and recreation facilities. By the end of year six, revenues from water sales, leasing of reclaimed agricultural land, grants from Bureau of Reclamation, and power generation would finance large diked areas, large scale power generation, and additional enhancements to wildlife habitat, recreation facilities, and other shoreline improvements. By the end of year nine, additional revenues from state bonds and agricultural land leasing would finance the remaining improvements and complete the project. In subsequent years, revenue from power generation and/or water sales should pay for operation and maintenance costs.

Salton Sea Partnership Funding Concept

Figure 9

Possible Incremental Beneficiary Funding Concept

Table 2

Possible Incremental Funding Concept For The Salton Sea

Figure 10