Board of Supervisors approve first amendment to fund Van Buren Sewer Project in Woodcrest to increase business development

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Brooke Federico | Contributed

The board of supervisors today approved the last funding agreement needed to expand a two and a half mile sewer project along Van Buren Boulevard in the county’s unincorporated Woodcrest area, adjacent to the City of Riverside.

The Riverside County Office of Economic Development is connecting the City of Riverside with Riverside County Flood Control District to allocate the last $3.5 million to improve water quality and bring this critical sewer project to fruition.

“We have several interested business operators who eagerly want to start business in this area, but they haven’t been able to get started without sewer,” said Chair Kevin Jeffries, First District Supervisor. “If we build this sewer system, they will come, and our residents will have businesses closer to where they live. In addition, this sewer system will have an immediate positive impact on a local public school that can now move off septic.”

The county and city agreed last year to jointly fund the project. However, increasing construction costs meant that an additional $3.5 million was needed. Today’s board action ensures the final funding amount will be covered by the Riverside County Flood Control District, due to the positive benefits sewer systems have on water quality.

The general area of the sewer project currently relies on individual septic systems for wastewater disposal. Such septic systems are not able to support the number of residents, employees or business operators who will visit future businesses along the area. In addition, septic systems for large development include water quality concerns and other factors impacting septic system performance.

“The ability for a business, or even a home, to connect to a sewer system can make or break the chance to even get started,” said Supervisor Karen Spiegel, Second District Supervisor. “Those who will benefit daily from this project, are the local residents who will have shorter commutes to reach basic business services.”

The City of Riverside’s Public Works department will complete the expansion of the sewer system already in existence along Van Buren within the city’s boundary. The total cost of the project is $21.8 million, of which the county will contribute 46 percent, including today’s allocation of $3.5 million from the Riverside County Flood Control District. The county’s total contribution is approximately $10 million. The City of Riverside’s contribution is 54 percent, or $11.8 million.

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