February 27, 2017

Contact: Communications Office

DNR Awards $2.59 million to the city of Birch Tree for drinking water improvements

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. - The Missouri Department of Natural Resources has awarded $2.59 million in financial assistance to the city of Birch Tree, in Shannon County, for drinking water system improvements.

“These funds will provide the city of Birch Tree with the resources to conduct necessary upgrades while saving the community more than $2.1 million,” said Carol Comer, director of the Missouri Department of Natural Resources. “In addition, these improvements will reduce water loss while updating vital infrastructure for the citizens and businesses of Birch Tree.”

The improvements include adding and replacing approximately 10 miles of water line, along with the valves, hydrants, meters and other appurtenances necessary for a fully functional distribution system.  The city will also refinance the exterior painting of a water tank, replace a well pump and motor and replace gas chlorination system with liquid chlorination.  The project is estimated to cost $2.7 million and is expected to be completed by November 2017.

The distribution system improvements will reduce water loss, which is reported to exceed 50 percent.  The well system improvements will replace a system that has exceeded its design life.

The funding for the project consists of a $1.86 million grant and a $738,000 low-interest loan through the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund.  The State Revolving Funds provide financial assistance to communities with infrastructure needs for water quality, wastewater and drinking water.  The city also received $124,905 from a previous Engineering Services Plans and Specifications grant through the department.

The $2.59 million funding package is estimated to save the district’s ratepayers $1.86 million in principal and approximately $285,305 in interest costs over the 20-year term of the loan.

The department’s Water Protection Program will administer the funds and is committed to working closely with public entities to assist with funding efforts that support water and wastewater infrastructure improvement projects, as well as provide a financial savings.

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