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Missouri to get $866 million to improve water quality; rural communities don’t want to be overshadowed

Published: Nov. 23, 2021 at 9:54 PM CST
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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - Missouri is expected to get millions of dollars to help improve water quality across the state.

Under the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, the state will expect to get $866 million over five years to improve water infrastructure, based on the traditional state revolving fund formula.

Those federal dollars will be used to better deliver clean drinking water to every American. The funding strives to eliminate the nation’s lead service lines and pipes.

”A lot of that funding is going to go towards City Utilities, in terms of that program,” Chris Dunnaway with the City of Springfield Public Works said, referring to what water-related funds Springfield would receive.

Those in the water industry also hope funding goes towards stormwater.

“We don’t really know just yet,” Dunnaway said. ”I don’t know. You know, hopefully there’s some stormwater funding in there. I know there’s a lot of transportation funding, which stormwater is obviously a component of the transportation system, but it’s much more than that.”

He said he feels the city’s stormwater systems could greatly benefit from federal support. Dunnaway said the city has a long list of stormwater needs, mostly related to flooding.

”The city expanded quite a bit back about between 1960 and 1980,” he said. “And back then there was a lot of stormwater infrastructure put in that really wasn’t adequate. It doesn’t meet today’s standards.”

Outside of Springfield, rural communities are also very eager for funding. Towns like Miller do not want to be overshadowed.

”We have to get enough funding, and I’m not so sure that somebody sitting in D.C. will respond with the level of funding, with the level of administration that we need to get safe clean water and good waste water treatment facilities for these little communities,” said City of Miller Mayor John Adamson.

The city of Miller is getting a $2.6 million grant from the Missouri Department of Natural Resources for sewer and wastewater improvements. Adamson said that should help with many of Miller’s issues, but he said any extra funding is always welcome.

”It wouldn’t hurt for a lot of these communities around here especially that have a history of problems with their water fluent and their drinking water as a consequence,” he said.

DNR also just extended its deadline for communities to apply for ARPA funding, which would help specifically with water and sewer needs. The deadline for that funding is now Nov. 30.

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