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MO: Nixon extends farmer drought relief program

By   /   September 10, 2012  /   1 Comment

Gov. Jay Nixon at a drought-relief project in Newton County on Aug. 13. (Photo by Missouri News Horizon)

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.

Missouri Watchdog reported last month that this initiative, which was first budgeted for $2 million, ended up costing nearly $30 million.

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.

Contact Johnny Kampis at johnny@missouriwatchdog.org. For more Missouri Watchdog updates, visit Facebook and Twitter, or sign up for a free newsletter.

 

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Johnny Kampis is a content editor at Watchdog.org, and is helping to start the organization’s Alabama Watchdog bureau in his home state. Johnny previously worked in the newspaper industry and as a freelance writer, and has been published in The New York Times, Time.com and Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

  • Sharon Ousley

    We’re caught in this and deeply appreciate the extension. We contacted all the well drillers we are aware of and got on their list, if they would even take our name and still don’t have any idea when one can drill a well for us to water our cattle.