Obama Recovery Act Funding Stimulates Oklahoma Conservation Partnership
Obama Recovery Act Funding Stimulates Oklahoma Conservation Partnership and
Approximately $15 million for Rehabilitation and Repair of Dams Statewide
STILLWATER - Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced April 6th $45
million in American Reinvestment and Recovery Act funds for rehabilitation of
aging flood control structures nationwide. For Oklahoma this means $13.4 million
for the rehabilitation of seven dams.
"President Obama is committed to strengthening much-needed infrastructure in
rural communities and this support will enhance water quality, create more
dependable water supplies, decrease soil erosion across the country, and create
jobs," Vilsack said. "This is good news for Oklahoma."
The Oklahoma projects, funded through USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation
Service’s Watershed Protection Program, will create jobs and support local
businesses that supply products and services required to revitalize the dams.
Funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) the work will be
managed by the Oklahoma Conservation Commission with assistance from the local
“Partnership and collaboration between Federal, State, and local agencies is
essential for the timely rehabilitation of these aging flood control structures
throughout Oklahoma,” said NRCS Oklahoma State Conservationist Ronald Hilliard.
“The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funding has proven so far to be a
prime example of what Federal, State, and local agencies can accomplish when
working in partnership.”
Each entity has an integral role in the projects. NRCS provides technical
assistance for the planning, design, construction, and oversight of the
construction for each project and OCC is provided $4.71 million in state funds
to cover the local cost of the projects as required by the USDA program. OCC
also provides legal and program assistance to the conservation districts. The
conservation districts obtain land rights from landowners and are responsible
for the long-term maintenance of the projects.
The projects funded by these agreements include:
Cottonwood Creek Watershed Dam No. 15 – Kingfisher County
Sallisaw Creek Watershed Dam No. 18 – Sequoyah County
Upper Clear Boggy Watershed Dam Nos. 33, 34, and 35 – Pontotoc County
Sugar Creek Watershed Dam Nos. L-43 and L-44 – Caddo County
All the projects will rehabilitate existing flood control structures to meet
current safety standards. Sallisaw 18, Sugar Creek L-43, and Upper Clear Boggy
35 will be the first to start construction. Advertising for the construction
contracts will begin soon.
NRCS and OCC also signed agreements providing for the repair of 17 Oklahoma
flood control dams. These projects totaling $1.26 million are also funded by the
Recovery Act. These projects are located in the following counties: Kiowa,
Washita, South Caddo, East Canadian, Logan, Bryan, Garfield, Hughes, Kay and
Upper Washita. Additionally, NRCS will also soon advertise a contract for the
construction of a new flood control dam in Garfield County. Dam No. 3, located
in the Turkey Creek Watershed, will be the first new watershed dam constructed
in Oklahoma in over five years.
“Many dams and other critical flood control structures across the country are in
a race against time when it comes to their ability to protect people and
property from flooding,” said Hilliard. “The funding being made available from
the Recovery Act couldn’t have come at a better time.”
The dams in Oklahoma being rehabilitated are a part of the system of 2,105 flood
control dams that were originally constructed with NRCS assistance 40 to 50
years ago. “The Recovery Act investments being made now will not only stimulate
the local economy and create badly needed jobs but will provide flood control
and recreation benefits for the next 100 years and will create safer dams to
protect generations to come,” Hilliard said.
More information about USDA’s efforts regarding the Recovery Act is available
at www.usda.gov/recovery . More
information about the Federal government’s efforts on the economic stimulus is
available at www.recovery.gov.
NRCS is an equal opportunity provider and employer. All programs and services
of the Natural Resources Conservation Service are provided in a