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News Release

Poteau 5 Media Tour Release

Media Tour of $1.5 Million Recovery Act Project at Waldron Water Supply Scheduled for September 21

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – A media tour of the $1.5 million American Recovery and Reinvestment Act rehabilitation project at the City of Waldron’s water supply lake will be held at 11 a.m. September 21.

The construction crew will be excavating and hauling earth fill to widen the auxiliary spillway by 170 feet. Waldron Mayor Randy Butler, County Judge James Forbes, Frankie Watson, vice president of the Waldron Chamber of Commerce, city council members, a representative from Tyson Foods, Billy Joe Hardin, a landowner downstream of the dam and Natural Resources Conservation Service officials will be available for interviews to discuss how the project is beneficial to the city, local community and industry in the surrounding area.

The Poteau River Multipurpose Dam No. 5 and reservoir is the city’s primary source of water for approximately 4,000 people in a 17-square-mile area. The dam, approximately 47-feet high, is located on the East Fork of the Poteau River about 3.5 miles northeast of Waldron.

Construction began May 24, 2010, and is 60 percent complete. The project will raise the top of the dam by 4.7 feet and raise the crest of the lake by 0.9 feet.

Rehabilitation of the dam will prevent flooding, protecting the lives and property of 80 residents. Twenty homes and commercial businesses, farms and poultry operation, and a highway will be protected. The dam will also provide 2,100 acre-feet of water supply storage.

The project is designed to bring the city’s water supply dam up to current safety standards and extend the service life of the structure another 100 years allowing it to continue to provide flood prevention benefits. Since 1964, when the structure was completed, no major flood has caused significant damage to Waldron.

Thirty-five percent ($420,000) of this project is funded by the City of Waldron.  The remaining sixty-five percent ($1,495,000) is provided through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.

The project has contributed to the economic growth of the area by creating or saving construction jobs. It will provide $101,900 of flood prevention benefits annually. For every dollar spent on the project a benefit of $1.30 is expected. In addition to jobs created, there will also be an increased demand in other industries’ goods and services that could put an estimated $3.1 million into economies of the Poteau River Watershed and surrounding counties.

Funded through ARRA, this project is part of the Obama Administration’s plans to modernize the nation’s infrastructure, jump-start the economy, and create jobs. NRCS is using Recovery Act funding to update aging flood control structures, protect and maintain water supplies, improve water quality, reduce soil erosion, enhance fish and wildlife habitat, and restore wetlands.

Four other Recovery Act watershed projects have been completed in Scott, Hempstead, Perry and Logan. Eight floodplain easements have also been funded in Arkansas through ARRA. More than $5 million has been appropriated for the projects.

Media planning on attending the event should call the mayor’s office at (479) 637-3181.

For more information about NRCS Recovery Act projects in Arkansas, please visit http://www.ar.nrcs.usda.gov/recovery/recovery_programs.html.