East Locust Creek Reservoir Project continues to make progress into new year

East Locust Creek Reservoir Project continues to make progress (Photo: Amber Draper/KTVO)

Since 2001, the North Central Missouri Water Commission has been working on the advancement of the East Locust Creek Reservoir Project in Sullivan County.

The primary purpose of the project is to make sure residents across rural northern Missouri have a plentiful supply of water.

“ The folks in the 10 counties in north and central Missouri have suffered under the threat of water shortage for decades," said General Manager Brad Scott.

The reservoir will be built five miles north of Milan in what used to be Boynton, Missouri. The huge water supply lake will have 81 miles of shore line.

The reservoir will produce 7 million gallons of water a day serving 54,000 customers.

General Manager Brad Scott says the design of the project is primarily finished.

In 2018, the commission has focused on securing funds.

“Last year we were able to make huge progress in securing $20 million for federal site construction. We’re also moving towards securing up to a $43 million loan and $9 million grant," Scott said.

Scott said in 2019, the big issue will be pulling together the final plan of finance.

“ Covering the loan, the debt share and coming up with the remaining federal side construction funds as well as the local match construction funds," Scott said.

If all goes as planned, Scott says they could break ground by the end of the year.

The construction project will take two years, and it may take up to three years for the reservoir to be filled.

“ Activities will continue as it’s filling. And we’ll be building shelters and docks. Hopefully a marina. Hopefully a bar and grill and service area for the public," said Scott.

Scott said along with supplying water, other benefits include recreational use, more jobs and flood control.

The cities of Kirksville, Lancaster, La Plata and Novinger are just a few entities that plan on purchasing water from the location in the future.

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