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Funding secured for a steady water supply in Caldwell County

The United States Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service announced it's giving $5.6 million for the construction of a dependable water supply for Caldwell County.

Posted: Aug 26, 2018 11:51 PM
Updated: Aug 26, 2018 11:51 PM

(CALDWELL COUNTY, Mo.) The United States Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service announced it's giving $5.6 million for the construction of a dependable water supply for Caldwell County.
The executive director of the Green Hills Regional Planning Commission said local municipalities in the region have struggled to secure a long-term water solution.
“This will be the 100-year fix for Caldwell County,” Executive Director Randy Railsback said. 
The USDA financial commitment announced Thursday moves the Little Otter Creek Reservoir project into final planning stages.
“The lands bought, the design is done, most of the funding is in place. We’re waiting for a permit from the Army Corps of Engineers,” Railsback said. “The permitting requirements now are massive.”
He said the project started years ago when municipalities saw water needs outstripping supply. 
“We’ve added water districts we’ve added prisons, all kinds of other usage but the supply hasn’t changed,” Railsback said. “These communities I have Cameron, I have Hamilton over here, I have Milan. The water needs have increased while the supplies have not."
A small line pumps water from a creek two miles outside of Hamilton into the city. But the creek, like many bodies of water in the region, is not a dependable water source. 
The reservoir project is a 344-acre lake providing water for 10,000 residents. A mix of local, state and federal agencies will fund the $24,000,000 project.
Railsback said if the permits are approved in the next 6 to 8 months, construction could start in 2019.

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