Local News in Brief : L.A. Prods Congress on Hansen Dam Funds

The Los Angeles City Council on Friday approved a resolution urging a House-Senate conference committee to approve a measure that would provide money for recreational facilities and water conservation at Hansen Dam in Lake View Terrace.

The House last year approved the amendment by Rep. Howard Berman (D-Studio City) that would authorize funds received by the Army Corps of Engineers from private contracts for the removal and sale of dredged material from the dam to be used for construction and operation of recreational facilities at the dam and for recharging ground-water supplies.

The amendment, however, was removed from an omnibus water bill by the Senate. As a result, a conference committee made up of members from both houses will meet to work out the differences between the House and Senate versions of the bill. Critics contend that the money from the sale of dredged material should be used to reduce the federal budget deficit. No figures were available Friday on the amount of money at stake.

The resolution was introduced by Councilman Howard Finn, whose East San Fernando Valley district includes the dam. In the resolution, the council argued:


“The build-up of gravel, sand and silt material in Hansen Dam has reduced the 130-acre lake to a 30-acre pond, and decreased water storage capacity by 3 billion gallons.

“This material has nearly eliminated the lake’s recreational value. Powerboats are now prohibited, and swimming is severely restricted. The Department of Water and Power is losing $2 million annually from water that would otherwise replenish the Valley’s underground water basin.

“Additionally, silt washing down from the dam is filling nearby DWP spreading grounds and the spreading grounds of the Los Angeles County Flood Control District, rendering these useless. The accumulation of silt and sand has also plugged storm drains which terminate behind the dam.”