MILAN, Mo. — The North Central Missouri Regional Water Commission hosted local leaders and state and federal U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development (USDA RD) officials in Sullivan County on Wednesday to tour the Roy Blunt Reservoir.

One of the goals of the project is to provide a reliable water source for 10 nearby counties.

Officials credit teamwork for the progress so far.

“The magnitude of work that needed to go into this project to make it work,” said Michele Brooks, the assistant administrator of water and environmental programs for the national USDA RD office. “That’s the partnership that was needed to get this project done.”
“The folks local here have been willing to put up with how much time it takes to work with the federal government,” said Kyle Wilkens, the Missouri Rural Development Director. “You know, nothing is easy. However, when it’s this important and when the water resource’s this important to northern Missouri and to specifically the 10 counties that’s going to provide water to, you feel like you have to push through and make it happen.”
“The local commission has been a great proponent for the project, for their own needs and their ability to blend funding’s with all the different resources that have come together on this project,” said Steve Polacek, the water programs division director of water and environmental programs for the national USDA RD office.

The USDA RD has given the North Central Missouri Regional Water Commission $54 million in loans and grants for this project.

$2 million has been invested in the first phase enhancement of the Milan Water Treatment Plant.

Enhancements include:

HVAC ImprovementFilter Media ReplacementPiping Rehabilitation in BasementLow Service Pumps and VFD ReplacementHigh Service Pumps and VFD ReplacementSCADA System upgradesTurbidimeter ReplacementsWindow ReplacementLower Level Outside Entry and Retaining WallGenerator Set and Auto-transfer Switch

State and federal officials have been impressed with the progress at that facility so far.

“How well it’s been upkept,” Polacek added. “Even without the funding that we’ve provided. But certainly, the great work that’s happening with the funding that we’ve been able to provide.”
“You’ve got to have the water treatment plant before you can start treating water and getting it out to folks,” Wilkens said. “So, the plant looks great and looks like it’s well-managed.”

After a quick pitstop at the water treatment plant, the officials headed over to the lake site.

Brad Scott, the general manager of the North Central Missouri Regional Water Commission, and a few engineers showed the USDA RD officials the work that’s been done so far.

Even though there is still a lot of construction that needs to take place, the USDA RD representatives enjoyed seeing the site in-person.

“USDA Rural Development met our obligation just a little bit over a year ago and the progress that’s been made, laying the groundwork to prepare for the impoundment and the future work is incredible,” Polacek added. “It’s really nice to see it moving at the rate that it is.”
“I’m not going to lie, I’ve never seen anything like it,” Wilkens said. “You know, I think it’s incredible, and it’s really nice to get to drive around and see it instead of just looking at it on a map. It gives you a better perspective on what’s going on and frankly, what needs to be done in the future.”
“It’s amazing to see so far the work that has gone into it, all the development and just to see the magnitude of how big this reservoir is going to be and the water resource that it will create for the future,” Brooks added.

Scott told the officials that he is still waiting to receive two permits that will open up a whole new layer of work for construction crews.

KTVO News will have more details when that happens.



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