JEFFERSON CITY - Senate Joint Resolution 24, Constitutional Amendment 7 on Missouri's ballot, would authorize the state to issue water pollution control bonds to fund financial distributions made by the Missouri Clean Water Commission.
This proposal is designed to compliment an earlier bond issue that provides funds fro storm-water and sewage projects in the urban areas.
Through the bonds, the Commission will be able to distribute grants or loans to counties and municipalities for the development of design projects, public sewage collection and water treatment facilities, drinking water systems and stormwater control.
Legislative staff estimate the fiscal impact to the state if the amendment were passed would be more than $17 million annually in interest and bond principal payments. This expenditure would continue for a 35 year period.
Missouri's last vote to support water and waste water grant and loan programs was in 1988 when voters authorized $275 million in support.
If passed, Amendment 7 would provide $300 million to control water pollution throughout the state. From that figure, $100 million would be apportioned to support the Rural Water and Sewer Grant and Loan Program and the remaining $200 million would support the Stormwater Grant and Loan Program in first class counties.
Although the issuance of the $300 million bond would benefit some Missouri municipalities, others would be excluded from grants and loans from the Missouri Clean Water Commission. The excluded municipalities would include all cities with more than 10,000 population in second and third class counties.
There are additional concerns, voiced by the Missouri Municipal League, that Amendment 7 could encourage sprawl in unincorporated areas surrounding cities because of grants and loans to water and sewer districts in the unincorporated areas.