U.S. Senator Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) on Monday announced the U.S. Department of Agriculture has invested an additional $25 million in the East Locust Creek Reservoir Project.

“This investment in the East Locust Creek Reservoir Project is great news for families, farmers, and local businesses,” Blunt said in a news release Monday. “These additional resources will get us one step closer to finishing the project and bringing an end to the severe water shortages that have disrupted businesses and daily life in the area. Improving water infrastructure and reliability will, in turn, create a stronger foundation for economic development in the years to come. I am committed to ensuring that the federal government continues to make this project a priority.”

The East Locust Creek Reservoir service area includes Mercer, Putnam, Schuyler, Grundy, Sullivan, Adair, Livingston, Linn, Macon and Chariton counties.

As a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, Blunt has led efforts to secure resources for the East Locust Creek Reservoir Project in the FY2016, FY2017, FY2018, FY2019, and FY2020 government funding bills. 

The recently-released FY2021 Senate agriculture appropriations bill includes $12 million in additional funding. USDA Rural Development awarded a $3 million grant and $5 million loan to modernize equipment at the East Locust Creek water treatment plant in October. In 2019, USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service announced that the project received an additional $5.6 million, which was included in the FY2019 funding bill.

Following Blunt’s advocacy, the Department of Transportation awarded a $13.5 million BUILD Grant to the East Locust Creek Reservoir Project in November 2019. In August 2018, Blunt announced that the USDA invested $20 million in the project to prepare the dam’s site, access corridors, and other key infrastructure for the next phase of construction.