For some time, I, like many others in our state, have concerns regarding the financial situation the State of Missouri is in. I am hoping you will print my letter and ask other fellow Missourians to consider these suggestions.
Let's start by using oil as an example. Does anyone think if Missouri was rich in oil, the politicians would pass up the opportunity to drill oil and profit from it? If this was the case, the state and the people would benefit from it.
Well, we have a resource that is readily available and all Missourians could benefit from it. We have an abundance of clean, clear spring water. The profits from selling bottled water across the country have reached all-time highs and currently exceeds the price of oil.
As simple as it sounds, I think the state should get into the bottled water business. Missouri springs pour out more than a billion gallons of crystal clear water each day (source: Missouri Famous Springs Website and www.missouriozarks.org).
The most famous: Big Springs near Van Buren is America's largest single outlet spring rising from the base of limestone bluffs, pouring out over 200 million gallons a day into the Current River. Then there's Alley Spring near Eminence that pours out nearly 80 million into the upper Jacks Fork River; the Boiling Spring near Licking at 12 million gallons of bright blue Ozark spring water.
Why couldn't the state get into the water business? Bids could be taken from companies to install a hidden pipe in the runoff of Big Springs and others and take no more than two million gallons a day. This amount would hardly be noticed, considering Big Springs pours out over 200 million daily.
The state could require the company to pay the state 50-cents per gallon, resulting in $1 million a day income that could benefit all citizens of Missouri. Don't say it can't be done. If the Big Spring or Current River were located out west, like the Colorado River is, you can bet the citizens of Arizona and California would be getting water and paying dearly for it.
Just think. The bottled water company could put a photo of a hillbilly scene on the bottle and play it up with something like Jethro and Ellie May. Who in all the surrounding states would not select a bottle of Ozark spring water over any other brands? This could be an endless process that would benefit all the citizens of Missouri by adding this revenue to the state's treasury.
I know this may be a pipe dream on my part and my not appeal to all citizens, but it's a thought from just a normal, typical citizen and long term taxpayer of Missouri who would like to see things better for my fellow Missourians.
Henry Coffer, Charleston