Missouri Governor, State Officials Announce Water Quality Funding for Wentzville

April 12, 2011
$21.4 million in grants and loans will fund improvements at wastewater treatment plant, address storm water issues

State assistance to Wentzville for wastewater treatment and pollution prevention projects will bring economic and environmental benefits to the area, said Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon.

A combination of $21.4 million through a grant and a low-interest loan to the city of Wentzville, Mo., to improve water quality will bring both economic and environmental benefits to the area, Gov. Jay Nixon said today in Wentzville. The governor and Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Director Sara Parker Pauley were joined by local officials in announcing the state awards at the city's Water Reclamation Center.

The state assistance includes a low-interest loan of $20.6 million for the expansion and improvement of the Wentzville Water Reclamation Center and a grant of nearly $750,000 for a project to reduce pollution to the Dry Branch watershed from storm water.

Gov. Nixon said the projects will lay the groundwork for future economic growth in a part of Missouri where the population has exploded in recent years. The 2010 census showed a 27% increase for St. Charles County over the past decade, and a 321% increase in the population of Wentzville during that time.

"This is one of the most rapidly growing parts of Missouri, and we need to ensure that we have the sufficient infrastructure to support that growth," Nixon said. "I commend Mayor Paul Lambi and other city leaders for working together with the DNR on these important projects."

The expansion of the Water Reclamation Center will increase its treatment capabilities from 4.1 million gal of wastewater per day to more than 6 million. The improvements will not only increase wastewater handling and treatment capabilities, but also will provide for continued protection of McCoy Creek.

An estimated 100 workers will be employed in the project construction, which is expected to be completed by the end of 2012. The low-interest rate of 1.66% on the loan will save the city approximately $10 million in interest.

"This is a perfect example of how the goals of environmental protection and economic development work together for the benefit of both the environment and the economy," Pauley said. "Rather than being opposing forces, they complement each other in a way that will have positive outcomes for years."

In addition to the low-interest loan, the DNR also has awarded a grant of $748,015 for Wentzville's Clear Stormwater and Green Parks Project, which will address storm water-related pollution in the Dry Branch watershed. The watershed is a sub-watershed of McCoy Creek and Cuivre River.

This project will assess the watershed and develop a nine-element watershed management plan that identifies storm water-related pollutants and their sources, and prioritizes solutions to pollution issues in the watershed. This project will integrate green infrastructure and storm water-related pollution education components at the existing Law Enforcement Center and city park, as well as implement storm water retrofits to quantify and reduce priority pollutants (i.e., trash, oil, sediment) by 50% from two commercial properties and one residential subdivision.

Wentzville will match the grant with a contribution of $500,000 over the life of the project, bringing the total project cost to $1,248,015. The city expects to complete this project by April 14, 2015.

Partners in this collaborative effort include the Wentzville Stormwater Advisory Committee, the St. Charles County Soil and Water Conservation District, the Greenway Network Inc., Friends of Wentzville Parks, local middle and high schools, and area commercial business owners and residents.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency - Region 7 has provided partial funding for this project under Section 319 of the Clean Water Act. The Department of Natural Resources' Water Protection Program will administer the grant funds.

Source: Office of Missouri Governor