Communities facing water, sewer hurdles

An official with a consultant group retained by the Cole County Commission last year to help small communities in the county says there is plenty of work left to address their biggest needs — upgrading their water and sewer systems.

Jenn Poeppelmeier of Spectrum Consulting told commissioners Thursday these communities are facing major financial hurdles to meet more standards required by the Missouri Department of Natural Resources and federal Environmental Protection Agency.

“In Russellville, they’re looking at $1.5 million needed to upgrade their lagoon system,” said Poeppelmeier. “Centertown needs to replace their water tower. Many of these towns have not budgeted for these needs. Now, the federal and state governments have requirements about no lead paint on these towers. To remove that paint and repaint the tower would probably cost more than just building a new tower. We’re finding that the state and federal government feel that water issues should be dealt with by municipalities so they’re not willing to put out money to fix these.”

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