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Governor Appropriates $30 Million Toward East Locust Creek Reservoir Construction

North Central Missouri Regional Water Commission Press Release

MILAN, MO – On Thursday, June 30th, Governor Mike Parson signed the appropriations bill containing a $30 million infusion into the Multipurpose Water Resources Fund (MWRF) continuing his steadfast support for the East Locust Creek Reservoir (ELCR). Senator Dan Hegeman led in advocating for the funds in the Senate. The MWRF was an unused and unfunded program that was stood-up to facilitate the State of Missouri entering into a Debt Share arrangement with the North Central Missouri Regional Water Commission (NCMRWC). The MWRF will be the source of the funds to service the State’s debt share, with the NCMRWC picking up the balance. It is hoped that ultimately the United States Department of Agriculture-Rural Development will approve the loan that will provide the funding mechanism that will enable local funding and finish the lake.

The MWRF is a fund administered by the Missouri Department of Natural Resources (MDNR). MDNR has helped the NCMRWC significantly in meeting its local match share obligations. The fund has paid for many pre-dam construction and lake-bed preparation projects and will continue to do so until the final loan package is approve and MDNR will then join in the debt share.

Last year, Governor Parson led the effort for a Joint Resolution authorizing the State of Missouri to enter into a Debt Share contract with the NCMRWC.

The recently stood-up MWRF can be used by other entities for approved water projects, but was specifically established to support the East Locust Creek Reservoir. Only two other entities have accessed the fund to date.

Harve Rhodes, Chairman of NCMRWC stated, “Governor Parson and our own Senator Dan Hegeman have been true heroes at the State level in supporting the ELCR. This next to last piece of the Plan of Finance puzzle is a critical one and shows the State’s ongoing commitment to the construction of the ELCR. Their herculean efforts have been matched by Senator Blunt and Congressman Grave on the federal level.”

Chris May, Presiding Commissioner for Sullivan County stated, “Governor Parson, being a cattleman from rural Missouri immediately understood the critical need for water in North Central Missouri. From the moment he entered the Governor’s office, Sullivan County had a friend. I am most anxious to welcome him back.”

Brad Scott, General Manager of NCMRWC stated, “This is a critical advancement of the ELCR project. The local match side of the project can now be funded. Thanks to Senator Blunt, most of the federal match side for the Natural Resource Conservation Service has been secured. The final loan and grant package from USDA-RD and the 404 Mitigation Permit are all that stand in the way of building the dam. However, there is significant progress with utility relocations and road and bridge work. There is a lot of earth being moved right now and barring something unforeseeable, that work will ramp-up and continue for the next couple of years.”