WASHINGTON - As negotiations for the 2004 Energy and Water Appropriations Act came to an end between House and Senate negotiators, Eighth District Representative Jo Ann Emerson was pleased to see several projects she called critical to her district were funded.
"The water projects in this legislation will greatly benefit my constituents in Missouri's 8th District," Emerson said. "The 8th District has more Mississippi River frontage than any other congressional district in the nation. Flood protection, drainage, and floodway maintenance are key to protecting the lives and property of Missouri residents and neighbors."
Now that the differences between House and Senate versions of the Energy and Water bill have been reconciled, the conference report must be approved by both bodies of Congress before going to President Bush's desk for his signature.
The bill contains funding provisions for 22 Southern Missouri projects with the $4,500,000 for the St. Johns - New Madrid Floodway Flood Control Project - Funding topping the list. The money will provide for flood control especially around the Enterprise Community of East Prairie and Pinhook.
Emerson, who noted she also worked with U.S. Sen. Kit Bond, on the funding project, described the money as necessary to relieve the residents of East Prairie and surrounding communities of persistent annual flooding. The project includes required additional flood control easements.
Also working in conjunction with Bond, Emerson said the bill includes $375,000 to the SEMO Port for maintenance dredging along with $340,000 to the New Madrid Harbor which will also fund maintenance dredging. There was $330,000 alloted to the Caruthersville Port for maintenance dredging.
According to Emerson the negotiators included $450,000 for box culverts on the St. Johns in New Madrid County and $75,000 for Lilbourn which will be used to fund a feasibility study on the community's flooding problems.
Other area projects included in the proposed bill are:
* $50,000 to pay for project modifications for improvements of the environment at Duck Creek in Stoddard County;
* $500,000 for dike construction at Caruthersville's Linwood Bend;
* $2,070,000 which will pay for Nash Road River relief wells;
* $200,000 to begin construction of the Dutchtown levee along the Little River Diversion Channel;
* $400,000 for construction of the Steele Bypass Weir along the St. Francis Basin;
* $100,000, Old Number 7 Chute's project modifications for improvements of the environment; and
* $200,000 for dike construction at Moore Island.