Missouri Governor vetoes funding for storm water, flooding and erosion projects in Metro

Missouri Governor Mike Parson vetoed state funding that would help with flooding and erosion issues in the Metro.
Published: Jul. 7, 2023 at 6:52 PM CDT
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ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOV) - Missouri Governor Mike Parson vetoed state funding that would help with flooding and erosion issues in the Metro.

Wildwood was denied $500,000 in funding, which Mayor Jim Bowlin says the city was going to match a percentage of and add $125,000 on top.

“We had requested funding for safety reasons to fix some of our infrastructure that has been deteriorating,” Mayor Bowlin says.

Wildwood has nine watersheds and there has been erosion over time.

Mayor Bowlin says one of the main areas needing help is along Caulks Creek, including a bridge that is eroding at Shephard and Strecker.

“It’s a lot less expensive to address it now rather than to wait,” Mayor Bowlin says. “Claw back is usually much more expensive. The erosion issue is only going to get worse so it will cost more in the future.”

That state funding would have also included about $6 million to fund four storm water projects for the Metropolitan St. Louis Sewer District.

Executive director Brian Hoelscher says says MSD doesn’t have its own funding source, meaning any money has to come from grants.

“Even though it’s not our assets, we do have the ability to collect money to take care of the erosion, the flooding issues, the things we’re seeing,” Hoelscher says.

MSD received $22 million in ARPA funding.

However, Hoelscher says storm water projects total more than $700 million.

“They vary from what seem to be very big problems to what some people may see as very small problems,” Hoelscher says. “That doesn’t include any kind of extensive work on flooding issues in the area that’s being caused by the climate change and these storms we’re getting. What we usually got in 12 hours we’re now getting in one hour in one place and it’s overwhelming things and flooding homes.”

MSD’s rate commission is looking at a way to get funding through a property tax for residents and an equivalent tax amount from non-residents.

“For the typical customer, the median house value in our service area is about $180,000 and the property tax we’re proposing would be $25 per year,” Hoelscher says. “That would generate about $35 million per year.”

MSD will be offering more public input meetings about the proposal coming up. There were several meetings in June but the July dates have not been announced yet.

Mayor Bowlin says the goal in Wildwood is to try to get state funding again next year.