The UFRR Program is being developed as a result of the passage of the Central Valley Flood Protection Plan in June 2012. The UFRR Program will replace the Early Implementation Program (EIP) which was developed in 2007 by the Flood Projects Office. The goals of the UFRR Guidelines and associated projects will tie to the mission of DWR, the objectives of FloodSAFE, and the statutory obligations of DWR for improvements to elements of the flood control system. The Guidelines will define the Flood Projects Office’s UFRR program purpose, goals, objectives, program elements, program components, strategies, priorities, and overall schedule and budget. It will describe detailed activities and measurable objectives under each of the composite program elements, and provides strategic program direction for the Flood Projects Office. Projects selected for bond funding (as well as those receiving General Funds) are to be consistent with the Flood Projects Office’s UFRR Guidelines.
The Flood Projects Office provides a sustainable integrated flood management and emergency response system throughout California that improves public safety, protects and enhances environmental and cultural resources, and supports economic growth by reducing the probability of destructive floods, promoting beneficial floodplain processes, and lowering the damages caused by flooding. The Flood Projects Office administers the UFRR program, which was created as a result of the passage of the Disaster Preparedness and Flood Prevention Bond Act of 2006 (Proposition 1E). This Proposition authorized DWR to make funds available to Local Agencies for, among other things, flood protection work. These funds will be for: (a) repair, rehabilitation, reconstruction or replacement of levees, weirs, bypasses and facilities of the State Plan of Flood Control and (b) improving or adding facilities to the State Plan of Flood Control to increase levels of flood protection for urban areas. This program applies only to certain portions of the Central Valley and certain adjacent areas.
Applicants must be a Local Agency and may submit proposals for one or more repair or improvement projects that are consistent with an Area Plan and Area Project cost limits. The Area Project spending cap is $200 million but the cost of repair work included in the Area Project is not counted against the $200 million cap. The Department will fund no more than two Area Projects per Area from this program in urban areas only.
Projects designed and constructed under the UFRR program must provide flood protection to at least the 200-year Level of Protection State standard.
Projects undertaken by the Flood Projects Office are selected from a pool of applications based on the level of funding for a particular fiscal year. It is anticipated that UFRR program funding will be available through Fiscal Year 2015-16, but the amount available will likely vary each year.
DWR prepares a Proposal Solicitation Package (PSP) that includes application materials.
Eligibility and ranking criteria will be developed for the different types of projects encompassed within the UFRR program. The types of projects that may be applied for include: Design Projects, Repair Projects, and Improvement Projects. These criteria will be defined within the UFRR program Guidelines. Completed applications will first be screened for completeness and eligibility. Once an application is deemed complete and eligible, it will be ranked using developed scoring criteria.
DWR will inform qualified Applicants of their award and the local cost-share that will be required in order for them to receive funding through this program. Projects eligible for funding through other state sources may be disqualified from UFRR eligibility.
The State’s commitment to fund the project will occur through a Funding Agreement. Applicants and DWR must enter into a Funding Agreement before any funds will be disbursed to the Applicant.
Program Guidleines and a PSP are anticipated to be released in late summer/early fall 2013. they will be posted on the FLoodSAFE website.
Compliance and Reporting
DWR has organized a FloodSAFE Program Management Office to document policies and procedures for bond accountability. Once a project is identified as a candidate for Bond funding, the budget and expenditures are tracked and reported to the public via the California Natural Resources Bond Accountability Website.
Financial controls also include reviewing the scope of the project prior to requesting Proposition 1E funds to ensure they are eligible for bond funding and having all contracts (and their task orders) for professional services reviewed by State Department of General Services and all construction contracting performed by DWR’s Division of Engineering to ensure compliance with State contracting procedures. Once completed, the projects are maintained as part of the flood control system maintenance stipulated in Section 8361 of the Water Code.