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North Coast projects in line for money in Gov. Jerry Brown's proposed budget

  • Gov. Jerry Brown displays a playing card with a chart showing how high deficits follow balanced budgets, will giving his annual State of the State speech before a joint session of the Legislature at the Capitol in Sacramento, Calif., Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2014. Brown delivered a dual message in his annual address to the Legislature, that a California resurgence is well underway but is threatened by economic and environmental uncertainties. Brown cautioned lawmakers that even though there is a budget surplus, they should not overspend.(AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)

Sonoma County and the North Bay would benefit from the increased investment in public works contained in Gov. Jerry Brown's $150 billion proposed budget unveiled last month.

Accompanying the Democratic governor's spending blueprint is a five-year capital project spending plan — the first since 2008.

Although $53 billion of the $57 billion earmarked between now and 2019 would be devoted to streets, roads, highways and high-speed rail, the plan specifically mentions improvements to the state hospital in Napa and the Veterans Home in Yountville.

Other capital needs at North Bay state parks and other facilities could also be included once the plan is finalized.

Brown also sets aside an additional $815 million in one-time funds for the fiscal year that begins July 1 for deferred maintenance projects, which has lagged during the state's cash-starved budgets of the past decade.

"It's important to focus attention on the infrastructure we've got to make sure it has the longest useful life possible, which helps reduce the need to build more expensive new facilities," said H.D. Palmer, spokesman for the state Department of Finance.

The $815 million includes everything from overpasses and border checkpoints to classrooms and armories. Like Brown's five-year public works plan, the bulk of the deferred maintenance money — $337 million — is spent on the state's transportation system.

Of that money, $100 million would be sent to cities and counties for street and road maintenance and repairs. The State Controller estimates that Sonoma County would get nearly $840,000 under the various formulas used to divvy up the money. Napa County would receive $285,000 and Lake and Mendocino counties would get $185,000 and $253,000, respectively. Santa Rosa would receive $260,000.

The governor's five-year capital plan mirrors the multi-year spending plans adopted by the state Transportation Commission in 2012. Brown's plan also doesn't affect local transportation project priorities established through half-cent sales tax increases like Measure M, adopted by Sonoma County voters in 2004.

Among the $90 million in projects Sonoma County lists on the proposed State Highway Operation and Protection Program for 2014 are:


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