Nearly $18 million in government funding earmarked for Santa Monica

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By Jorge Casuso

July 6, 2022 – The City of Santa Monica will receive $16.3 million in state funding for three projects, with an additional $1.5 million from the federal government likely to follow.

The state funding — part of the $308 billion budget signed by Governor Gavin Newsom last week — includes $10 to help upgrade the city’s yards and $4.8 million to improve a stretch of Lincoln Blvd.

Another $1.5 million is earmarked to fund the Santa Monica Behavioral Health Center project, which will initially focus on the homeless.

The project will also likely receive an additional $1.5 million in the fiscal year 2023 appropriations bill that the U.S. House of Representatives will pass in the coming weeks.

The funding was requested by U.S. Representative Ted Lieu as part of some $7.5 million for local homelessness projects in his district, which includes Santa Monica.

The funding will be used to convert an existing city-owned facility into a behavioral health center to accommodate 24/7 first responders and local emergency rooms.

“While the long-term behavioral health strategy will serve various vulnerable populations in Santa Monica, the first phase of the 24/7 center will focus on homeless people,” Lieu’s office said in a press release Wednesday.

“The center will serve as a safe alternative for first responders to drop off individuals who will receive behavioral health care and do not respond to the crisis level to require emergency rooms, urgent psychiatric care or jail.”

Most of the state funding will help pay for “infrastructure and operational improvements” for the municipal worksites modernization project, city officials said.

Largely funded by bonds, the $114 million project will modernize the outdated 2500 Michigan Avenue site the city took over in the late 1940s as a base for municipal maintenance services, including water , resource recovery and recycling, fleet maintenance and fire training.

The 14.7-acre site is home to 16 buildings and structures erected over the years and has “become woefully outdated, unsafe and ill-suited to today’s operational demands,” according to city officials.

The replacement of City Yards will proceed in phases as old structures are torn down and replaced with new buildings “with pioneering innovations in sustainability and safety,” officials said.

State funding will also help fund the Lincoln Boulevard Neighborhood Corridor Plan, which includes the installation of medians, crosswalks, lighting and landscaping “to promote efficient car travel and passenger safety. pedestrians,” city officials said.

The project spans 17 blocks and 1.25 miles along Lincoln and passes through the neighborhoods of Pico, Ocean Park and Sunset Park.

Assemblyman Richard Bloom, who was instrumental in securing state funding, said the three projects address some of Santa Monica’s longstanding priorities.

“These projects will address the city’s critical infrastructure needs and help keep pedestrians safe in our community, meet the growing behavioral health needs of our residents, and help the city achieve its sustainability goals.” , Bloom said.

Mayor Sue Himmelrich said, This state funding will allow the city to advance three important projects that are currently unfunded and that align with our priorities of a clean and safe Santa Monica, the fight against homelessness and an equitable and inclusive economic recovery.

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