Gov. Jay Nixon today visited a livestock operation near Windsor in Henry County to survey a new water well that has been installed as a result of the Governor's emergency drought relief program. In addition to seeing how the well is providing water for the beef cattle of David Higgs, the Governor also provided an update on the emergency cost-share program.
"With almost 5,900 emergency projects approved in less than a month, our focus now is on ensuring that they are completed as soon as possible to provide relief for livestock and crops from the drought," Gov. Nixon said. "Agricultural operations such as this one are the backbone of Missouri's economy, and it's been vital to help them access water immediately."
The Governor also said that the State Technical Assistance Review Team, in conjunction with local soil and water district boards, had completed the review and approval process for all applications. More than 11,000 applications were submitted to the state, of which nearly 5,900 were approved. Of those approved projects, nearly 4,000 have already been completed, are underway or have been scheduled for construction.
Gov. Nixon's executive order authorized the State Soil & Water Districts Commission to establish the program to provide urgent relief for farmers and producers facing critical shortages of water. To be eligible for the program, projects had to provide immediate and material relief for the farmer or producer. The same day, he signed a separate executive order declaring a State of Emergency in Missouri because of the drought.
Because of the emergency nature of the program, project applications were due by 5 p.m. Monday, Aug. 6. Officials from the Missouri Department of Agriculture and the Missouri Department of Natural Resources supported local soil and water districts in reviewing the applications to determine eligibility for funding.
The program covers 90 percent of the cost of the emergency water project, such as digging or deepening a well or connecting a farm to a rural water supply. The producer or farmer pays the remaining 10 percent. The maximum state match for any project is $20,000.
Funding for this emergency program comes from unallocated reserve funds provided by the State Soil & Water Districts Commission and state resources made available by Gov. Nixon through House Bill 8, which provides the Governor the authority to direct funds for "responding during a declared emergency at the direction of the Governor, provided the services furnish immediate aid and relief."