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I got an e-mail from reader Daren Johnson about my story on sand replenishment in Imperial Beach.

Johnson wanted to know how Imperial Beach could justify paying the Army Corps of engineers for a project the federal agency has $1.4 million for already.

If an Army Corp project has a total cost of $1.4 million, and is not dependent on funding from Imperial Beach, why should Imperial Beach pay $1.1 million of the project to “cover additional transportation costs”?
It doesn’t add up: $300,000 in dredging, $1.1 million in transportation — I don’t think so.
It would be nice to know how the Army Corp can justify the need for $1.1 million from Imperial Beach for additional transportation costs. It would also be nice to know why the City of Imperial Beach would agree to such an obviously flawed cost estimate.

The $1.4 million the Army Corps of Engineers has on hand to remove sand from the sea floor at the entrance to San Diego Bay only allows it to dredge so much. It would like to dredge even more, but it doesn’t have the money to do it.

That’s where Imperial Beach officials want to come in. The $1.1 million they want to provide would pay for the Army Corps to dredge about twice as much sand from the sea floor than the agency would otherwise be able to remove.

From an economic standpoint, that benefits Imperial Beach, officials said, by bringing twice as much sand to the city’s beaches.

It’s what Scott John, the Army Corps project manager, called a cost-sharing agreement that benefits both the Army Corps and the city.

The Army Corps is already doing all the work, Imperial Beach Mayor Jim Janney said, and the city wants to take advantage of that.

“We have to take advantage of when the equipment is mobilized and in place,” Janney said.

— ADRIAN FLORIDO

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