Sacramento secures $23 million in state funds for neighborhood revamp, new light rail station
Legislation carried by Mayor Darrell Steinberg when he served in the state Senate paid off big for Sacramento Thursday when the state’s Strategic Growth Council allocated $23 million in cap and trade revenues to build a new light rail station and other improvements in the River District north of downtown.
The project, led by the Sacramento Housing and Redevelopment Agency, will transform the impoverished neighborhood, where SHRA is currently working to replace the aging Twin Rivers complex with a 487-unit mixed-income community. Many of the units in Twin Rivers have already been demolished in preparation for the new development, and most of the tenants have been moved out. They will have the first right to move back in when the new development is finished.
The Dos Rios Light Rail Station will connect the isolated community, which Mayor Steinberg called a “transit desert,” to downtown and the rest of the city.
“This is a big day for Sacramento,” Mayor Steinberg said at a Friday press conference announcing the award. “When it comes to state funding, particularly cap and trade funding, Sacramento has always come in second or third or fourth. Those days are over.”
Mayor Steinberg authored the bill that created the Strategic Growth Council. As President Pro Tem of the Senate, he also succeeded in getting a portion of the funds generated by state’s cap and trade carbon credit auctions earmarked for sustainable communities and affordable housing projects.
Besides the light rail station, the state funding will pay for a community garden, solar panel installation and the planting of 500 trees.
As part of a local “match,” various partners will also do improvement projects. SacRT, for example, plans to introduce on-demand micro-bus service for residents of the area, using electric vehicles.
“The transition you’ll see in the River District will be remarkable,” said Councilman Jeff Harris, who represents the area.
SacRT General Manager and CEO Henry Li said the new light rail station “will be state of the art and one of the best light rail stations in the country.”