Friday, May 31, 2013

Delta Tunnel Plan Finances Examined by Critics

Governor Jerry Brown’s latest price tag for the proposed peripheral tunnel is up $24.5 billion. The cost estimate for the Bay Delta Conservation Plan was released Wednesday was up by a billion dollars just since a February estimate. That estimate is for construction and restoration and does not include the interest on bonds needed for financing the project. The administration says that two-thirds of the bill will be paid for by water users and the rest by the public through a bond measure to be on the 2014 ballot. A panel of experts who are critical of the BDCP estimates weighed in last week. They contend the project won’t achieve the stated goals of providing reliable water or restoring Delta ecology, while urban residents will be stuck paying higher bills. Vic Bedoian reports from Fresno.