Last March, the Los Angeles Dept. of Water and Power broke ground on a vital project to upgrade our city's aging infrastructure. Built in the 1940s, the existing water pipeline will be replaced with a larger 15,800 feet and 78-inch diameter steel pipe. It's a major transmission pipeline that's responsible for transporting large amounts of water from the Northeast Valley to the Central City area. The improvements will enhance water pressure, capacity and reliability, and better comply with federal and state water quality regulations.
Replacing the trunk line is critical to fixing our city's aging water supply system for the next one hundred years. But that's small comfort for the many mom-and-pop businesses along the work zone that are worried about paying their bills.
Massive projects like this can take several years to complete and greatly affect the surrounding community and businesses. The vibrant small business community along the project in North Hollywood has been devastated by the construction -- loss of parking by their storefronts, no visibility of the businesses, and traffic are just some of the issues they face.
But this week, we brought help.
I was proud to work with the Los Angeles Department of Water & Power
to establish the Capital Projects Business Retention Program. The first of its kind in LADWP history, the program provides financial assistance to businesses to alleviate some of the adverse impacts of the ongoing work. It's a small lifeline that can help keep the doors open and save jobs. And that's what happened when I shared the news and a check for $18,000 with Valentina Santiago, a mother of four and the proud owner of a small, modern furniture and antiques shop, Santiago's Vintage Shop, located on the 5641 Lankershim Blvd.
After construction began, her shop, which has been there for many years along with dozens more, drastically saw business slow down. The assistance from the program will help make up for some of the losses while the owners find ways to draw in customers.
Businesses, of 25 employees or less, impacted by the construction can apply to the LADWP pilot program, and may receive up to $18,000 annually during the project's duration.
This is an important step. Once this pilot program is done, I hope we will be able to roll out similar programs to businesses that are impacted throughout the city by these necessary infrastructure investments.
These unique Lankershim Boulevard shops are open for business and I encourage you to check out all the great things they have to offer.