Missouri is dealing with unseasonably warm weather and drought conditions.

We depend on the rain to help our plants grow as well as fill our aquifers and reservoirs to provide drinking water. North Central Missouri is unable to depend on aquifers, so a large reservoir is needed to serve the water needs of more than 68,000 rural Missourians in Adair, Chariton, Grundy, Linn, Livingston, Macon, Mercer, Putnam, Schuyler, and Sullivan Counties.

A long time in the making, the Roy Blunt Reservoir project, near Milan, is going to be the reservoir that will service North Central Missouri’s water needs. This project has been in the works for about 50 years.

The collaboration between local counties, state, and federal governments to keep this project moving forward is inspiring. The different agencies that have come together to make this a reality and the bipartisan support for this project is outstanding. The North Central Missouri Regional Water Commission has never given up on this project and USDA Rural Development will continue to partner with them in any way we can. Partnerships like these are the best way to strengthen and preserve rural Missouri.


USDA Rural Development is providing North Central Missouri Regional Water Commission a $5,017,000 loan and a $3 million grant through the Water and Waste Disposal Loan and Grant program.  The funding will be used to finance the existing water treatment plant and make improvements to the plant’s equipment.

All internal controls, piping, pumps, equipment, and other mechanisms associated with the treatment of raw water will be modernized to utilize the most up-to-date technology.

Water and Waste Disposal Loan and Grant Program provides funding for clean and reliable drinking water systems, sanitary sewage disposal, sanitary solid waste disposal, and storm water drainage to households and businesses in eligible rural areas.


At the beginning of October, the community of Windsor came together to celebrate the 30th Anniversary of the Royal Oaks Hospital. In 2015, we partnered with hospital on an expansion project.  They utilized a USDA Rural Development Community Facility Direct Loan of over $4.9 million dollars to upgrade their facility and expand the capacity of beds from 41 to 54. Twelve adult beds and two children's beds were added along with a waiting room, patient holding area, doctor/psychiatrist offices, staff meeting room and a lobby.

The Community Facility Direct Loan program provides affordable funding to develop essential community facilities in rural areas. An essential community facility is defined as a facility that provides an essential service to the local community for the orderly development of the community in a primarily rural area, and does not include private, commercial, or business undertakings. Funds can be used to purchase, construct, and / or improve essential community facilities, purchase equipment, and pay related project expenses.

Examples of essential community facilities include:

Health care facilities such as hospitals, medical clinics, dental clinics, nursing homes or assisted living facilities
Public facilities such as town halls, courthouses, airport hangars or street improvements
Community support services such as childcare centers, community centers, fairgrounds, or transitional housing
Public safety services such as fire departments, police stations, prisons, police vehicles, fire trucks, public works vehicles or equipment
Educational services such as museums, libraries, or private schools
Utility services such as telemedicine or distance learning equipment
Local food systems such as community gardens, food pantries, community kitchens, food banks, food hubs or greenhouses

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Rural Development provides loans and grants to help expand economic opportunities, create jobs, and improve the quality of life for millions of Americans in rural areas. This assistance supports infrastructure improvements; business development; housing; community facilities such as schools, public safety, and health care; and high-speed internet access in rural and high-poverty areas.

For more information, visit www.rd.usda.gov. If you’d like to subscribe to USDA Rural Development updates, visit the GovDelivery subscriber page.

As always, feel free to reach out to Rural Development by visiting www.rd.usda.gov/mo, emailing us at RDMissouri@usda.gov, or call (573) 876-0976 to get more information on any of USDA Rural Development’s programs.

---Submitted by Kyle Wilkens, USDA Rural Development Missouri State Director

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