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Monday, November 29, 2021

Levy completed for Hamilton City

Hamilton City – The set-back levy of Reclamation District 2140 outside Hamilton City has been completed, reducing flooding concerns for the small Glen County city.

The levy project was officially completed on Tuesday, although there is still some construction pending on the edge of the land around the Sacramento River where trees and other vegetation are expected to be planted.

According to an announcement from the district, the set-back levy spans 6.8 miles of the Sacramento River east of Hamilton City and has been under construction for some time. The levy is part of a larger-scale plan called the Hamilton City Flood Reduction and Ecosystem Restoration Project.

Aerial view of the newly completed set-back levee outside Hamilton City, Calif., Tuesday, November 16, 2021. (Recapture District 2140/Contribution)

District Board President Lee Ann Grigby-Puente said the project was completed on time for the bulk of the rainy season.

“The set-back levy is at grade level, meaning the back0-fill work to create the levy is complete,” Grigsby-Puente said. “This is an important milestone for this project, especially as we move into the rainy season.”

The idea for the project came in the late 90s when the reclamation district became the major agency to fund levies as well as maintenance costs.

In 2006, both residents and businesses began moving the appraisal fee to operate the levy.

“The community has fought a long and hard fight for this new set-back levy,” Grigsby-Puente said. “We are proud that we have been committed to getting to this point. We are proud of the Army Corps (engineers), Glen County, the Department of Water Resources, the Glen-Colusa Irrigation District, the Nature Conservancy, Congressmen (Doug) Lamalfa and (John) Garamendy, and Especially thank everyone involved in the effort and the community for supporting the assessment needed to keep the Levy in proper operating condition for decades to come.

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Ryan Luster of the Nature Conservancy said the region’s native vegetation would be able to maintain a healthy environment with floodplain reconnection.

“The Nature Conservancy is thrilled that, after many years of effort by multiple individuals, the set-back levy portion of the project has been completed. We are excited that this project is a step towards reducing flood risk for the Hamilton City community. Re-connected floodplains, set-back levees and riparian habitats,” Luster said. “The riparian restoration component of the project includes native vegetation that has adapted to survive flood events and will provide important habitat for various native species to thrive.”

Levy completed for Hamilton City
The Irwin Finch boat launched on Thursday, November 18, 2021, outside Hamilton City, California, where a dedication ceremony is planned for December 11 to celebrate the completion of the newly completed set-back levee. (Jake Hutchison / Enterprise-Record)

Shailene Rollins, who handles public relations for the Reclamation District, said that along with the Levy project, the district is working on phase two of the restoration project that involves the restoration of approximately 400 acres of habitat. This part of the project starts in 2022 and will continue till 2023.

Rollins said the total cost of the project was $91 million, which was last authorized in 2016.

The district plans to hold a dedication ceremony for the set-back levy on December 2 at 11 am. The ceremony will be held at the Irwin Finch Boat Launch located on the Irvine Finch River Access Road. The people of the community are being asked to join on behalf of the district. Apart from those working within the district, there will be speakers as well as local officials and politicians at the Congress level.

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