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Covering state lawmakers, bills, and policy emerging from Jefferson City.

Willard Among Cities to Receive Wastewater Grant Funds

Office of Gov. Jay Nixon
Gov. Jay Nixon/Credit: Governor's Office

Several Missouri cities will receive thousands in funding to assist with wastewater engineering.

Gov. Jay Nixon announced Friday that the Missouri Department of Natural Resources is making available $1.1 million in Small Community Engineering Assistance Program grants.  

He was visiting Willard, which will receive $40,000 to address issues with stormwater entering its wastewater collection system. When this happens, it can cause the wastewater system to overflow, therefore releasing some untreated water into a watershed.

“For many communities, the local water treatment systems are old, and outdated. This puts local streams and waterways at risk of pollution and in turn, puts nearby communities that rely on these resources for drinking and recreation, at risk as well,” Nixon said in a news release. “That’s why my budget this year includes the resources to rebuild these aging water systems, and to ensure that we leave Missouri’s waters better than we found them.”

Nixon says his 2016 budget proposal includes $70 million in bonding to address wastewater and stormwater infrastructure needs throughout the state.

The Small Community Engineering Assistance Program is funded by fees generated through the state’s revolving loan fund. It offers funding for wastewater engineering costs incurred in preparation of a facility plan or engineering report. For Willard, an engineering report is projected to be completed this April.

Municipalities, public sewer or water districts and other governmental entities with a population of less than 10,000 may be eligible to receive an 80 percent grant match from the program, not to exceed $50,000.

Other area recipients announced Friday, with grants ranging from $16,000-$48,000, include the cities of Aurora, Hollister, Lockwood, Miller, Cassville, Exeter, Hartville and Seymour. 

In Springfield, a community of about 160,000, city officials have been working with Greene County to generate an adequate funding model to address future wastewater and stormwater needs. On Tuesday, 10 options were presented to both entities in an effort to meet pending mandates from the Missouri DNR and Environmental Protection Agency.

Follow Scott Harvey on Twitter: @scottksmu

Scott joined KSMU in November 2012. He had previously served five years as news director for KETR-FM, the public radio station in Commerce, Texas. A graduate of Northwest Missouri State University in Maryville, Scott enjoys producing human-interest stories, among other pieces that educate and engage the community. When not at work, he’s often taking part in outdoor activities, exploring new areas and restaurants, or staying up-to-date with the latest news and information. Scott was born and raised in Shenandoah, Iowa.
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