Rubio Seeks Funding Commitment for Dike Repairs

Dan Florida, Industry News Release

U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio wants money put behind President Donald Trump’s recent call to speed up completion of repairs to the Herbert Hoover Dike around Lake Okeechobee.

rubioThe Miami Republican asked Mick Mulvaney, the chief of the White House Office of Management and Budget, on Tuesday to support funding levels outlined by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers that would complete the work by 2022 rather than 2025. “The dike is among the most critically vulnerable in the nation, and the probability of failure is extremely high,” Rubio wrote. “After 10 years of work by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the rehabilitation remains nearly a decade from completion, and residents along the lake feel no more secure.”

rubioLast week, Trump directed Mulvaney to accelerate the work, but his order didn’t include funding or timelines.

Rubio noted that the Army Corps proposal would require $212.4 million in the fiscal year 2019; $242.1 million in the fiscal year 2020; $203.9 million in the fiscal year 2021; and $118.2 million in the fiscal year 2022.

Florida lawmakers approved $50 million for the federal project this fiscal year, and Gov. Rick Scott on Monday said he would ask for a similar amount during the 2018 legislative session.

The Army Corps since 2001 has spent more than $870 million on projects designed to reduce the risk of “catastrophic failure” to the aging 143-mile earthen dam that also features levees, hurricane gates, and other water-control structures, according to the Army Corps.

from News Service of Florida

Image courtesy of US Army Corps of Engineers, Jacksonville District