By Johnny Kampis | Missouri Watchdog
ST. LOUIS – Gov. Jay Nixon has extended the deadline for nearly 6,000 Missouri farmers to complete projects to improve access to adequate water, but he provided a vague timeline to finish the work.
Nixon on Monday said the state of emergency he declared for Missouri due to the drought would be extended until Nov. 15.
The Democrat issued an executive order that says for participants to be eligible for the extension, they “must diligently endeavor to engage the services of contractors and/or suppliers necessary to complete the project by the earliest possible date.”
“Despite the rain we’ve seen over the past two weeks, Missouri’s agricultural community still has a pressing need for water, especially for livestock,” Nixon said in a statement.
Missouri’s Department of Agriculture and Department of Natural Resources approved 5,885 applications submitted between July 23 and Aug. 6 for projects to drill new wells, deepen existing wells or find other ways to provide additional water to livestock and crops.
More than a month after applications were approved, about 1,400 projects — or nearly a quarter of them — haven’t begun. Some have been completed, while others are well under way, a governor’s news release says.
The initial requirement was that landowners had to begin projects within 72 hours of approval and finish them within 60 days.
The state will pay 90 percent of the costs of the projects, which average $4,800 each.