Zone No. 7 (“Zone 7”) was created on December 17, 1991 through separate resolutions adopted by the Santa Cruz County Flood Control and Water Conservation District and by the City of Watsonville. Zone 7 was formed for the primary purpose of improving the flood carrying capacity of the Pajaro River, Salsipuedes Creek and Corralitos Creek system within the Pajaro Valley floodplain. This is achieved through funding the required Local Sponsor share of the on-going feasibility study currently being undertaken by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and through funding the maintenance of and minor capital improvements to existing drainage facilities within the zone’s boundaries.
A portion of Zone 7 revenues are also specifically set aside to fund capital improvement projects within the zone’s boundaries. These projects are intended to limit the potential for flooding caused in part by continued urbanization within the floodplain and increased stormwater runoff from additional impervious areas.
Funding for Zone 7 is provided by assessments on parcels located within the zone’s boundaries based on parcel size and land use. Each fiscal year, an assessment rate report is filed with the Santa Cruz County Clerk of the Board, and the Zone 7 Board of Directors considers the assessment rates for adoption. Wherever possible, Zone 7 works to augment parcel assessment revenues with other revenue sources, such as grant funding from the State of California and non-government organizations. For example, such grant funds provided the vast majority of funds for the recent Bench Excavation and Levee Restoration Projects recently completed on the Pajaro River and Salsipuedes Creek. Videos prepared for these projects are available on the Department’s Flood Control web page.
Zone 7 is governed by a Board of Directors that convenes for regularly scheduled quarterly meetings. The Zone 7 Board of Directors is comprised of seven voting members and four non-voting members. The five elected Santa Cruz County Supervisors, the Mayor of the City of Watsonville and the Chair of the Pajaro Valley Water Management Agency’s Board of Directors, or their respective appointed representative, make up the seven voting members of the Zone 7 Board of Directors. The four non-voting members are appointed from persons residing within the boundaries of Zone 7. The current Director of Public Works for the County of Santa Cruz is the District Engineer for Zone 7.
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