By BRENT MARTIN
St. Joseph Post
State Sen. Dan Hegeman of Cosby is asking the state legislature to back a major water project in north-central Missouri.
Hegeman asks a Senate committee to support his proposal seeking state cooperation in the construction of the 54,000-acre foot East Locust Creek Reservoir near Milan.
“This project began more than 10 years ago when local residents passed a half-a-cent sales tax to generate revenue to build a sustainable water supply,” Hegeman tells a Senate committee in Jefferson City. “The water in northwest Missouri is brackish and only the viable way to have a large viable water supply is to impound water by building a lake.”
Hegeman’s SCR 7 would commit the state to no more than $1.5 million annually and a total not to exceed $24 million. Federal grants and loans total $48 million. Hegeman explains to committee members the federal government requires a secure relationship with the state to continue with the project.
Once completed, the reservoir would supply 7 million gallons of water a day to a 10-county region of northwest Missouri.
Hegeman says a packing plant in Milan might expand if the project is completed and the plant is assured of sustainable additional water.
“This project is vital to the development of northwest Missouri and provides numerous economic benefits to the state once, during, and after construction,” Hegeman says.
The reservoir also will be used for recreation and, since the project is being funded by USDA Rural Development rather than the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, property owners will be able to build all the way to the shoreline.