Engineer's Report for Rio Del Mar Flats

Preliminary Engineer’s Report for Rio Del Mar Flats Assessment District

The County of Santa Cruz has proposed the construction and operation of a stormwater pump station to reduce water ponding in the Rio Del Mar Flats community.  The County has secured grant funding for the construction of the pump station. However, in order to retrieve the funds and proceed with construction, funding for ongoing operations and maintenance of the pump station must also be secured.  The County has proposed the formation of the Rio Del Mar Flats Assessment District ("Assessment District") as an ongoing source of funding for operations and maintenance. In part of the initial stages of the formation process, an engineer's report is required. The report separates and quantifies special and general benefits and provides a method of assessment with a proportional rate schedule. In this post, CivicMic shares the preliminary engineer's report for Rio Del Mar Flats Assessment District.

Preliminary Engineer's Report for Rio Del Mar Flats Assessment District


Zone 6 seeks to fund the ongoing operations and maintenance of a pump station in the Rio Del Mar Flats neighborhood. Maintenance and operations include, but are not limited to, runoff diversions which reduce the catchment area, the stormwater pump station and associated trash and water quality facilities, pipes, manholes, catch basins, vaults, valves, screens, power controls, other related facility appurtenances, and overhead.

Special Benefits

Two special benefits would result from the ongoing maintenance and operations services that would be funded by the Assessment District:

  • Reduced Risk of Flooding and Damage - Certain parcels will experience a reduced risk of flooding which will significantly reduce damage to the parcels and the properties on those parcels, as well as reduce the costs associated with flood damage like displacement for temporary quarters, debris removal, and flood cleanup. Additionally, there will be mitigation of risks related to personal injuries.
  • Access to Property - Ponding will be significantly reduced which will result in fewer impediments in roadways that cause traffic delays and reduced access to property.

Cost Estimates

The Federal Emergency Management Agency ("FEMA") has granted construction funding to the County for the proposed pump station. The total project construction cost is $5.6M.

Below are the additional costs for ongoing maintenance and operations of the proposed pump station:

Total Annual Maintenance and Operations Costs

Balance to be Assessed

Annual Cost Escalation at 2.5%

To learn more, please read the complete preliminary engineer's report for Rio Del Mar Flats Assessment District.

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2 thoughts on “Preliminary Engineer’s Report for Rio Del Mar Flats Assessment District”

  1. I’ve reviewed the assessment diagram for “Rio Del Mar Flats” that is to be used to determine my individual annual tax assessment and I have two questions. My parcel is # 042-132-04, my starting annual assessment will be $312. My property is in Flood Zone “AE”, which is in the same Flood Zone as the property’s with APN #’s 042-051-06 & 042-051-07, can you explain to me why their assessments are listed at $124.80? We both only experience issues, with “ponding,” while “accessing” our properties. Question 1 – who determines what my assessment is to be and 2 – why is my assessment listed at more than double that of the properties with the same Flood Zone status and like issues?

    1. Hi Fred,

      Question 1: The Assessment Engineer determines the relative special benefits received by the properties.

      Question 2: Parcels 042-051-06 & 042-051-07 are located across Aptos Creek and do not receive any benefit related to Flood Risk Mitigation as the Stormwater Improvements do not serve, and therefore do not reduce any flood risk to, those parcels. The parcels across Aptos Creek are treated in the same manner as the parcels along Beach Drive. They do receive access benefits due to the reduced ponding and are assessed for that “Access” benefit. Your parcel is in the area directly served by the Stormwater Improvements and you have the additional benefit of Flood Risk Mitigation and are assigned additional benefit points.

      While the properties are all in the same Flood Zone (“AE”) they do not receive the same benefits from the maintenance and operation of the improvements, therefore the special benefits and resulting assessment amounts are not equal.

      I hope that helps clarify.

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