Groundbreaking ceremony set for Caldwell County’s Little Otter Creek Reservoir March 19, 2021

Little Otter Creek Reservoir graphic

The USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in Missouri, Caldwell County Commission, USACE, and Caldwell County SWCD will host a groundbreaking ceremony to commemorate the beginning of construction on the Little Otter Creek Reservoir on March 19th, 2021.

After over two decades of planning, design, reviews, and permitting, the Little Otter Creek Reservoir will begin construction.  An earthen dam will be constructed forming a 344-acre reservoir that will provide water security, flood damage reduction, and water-based recreation for the region.

The Caldwell County Commission and NRCS identified a need for three project purposes: water supply, water-based recreation, and flood damage reduction.  The Caldwell County Commission and the Missouri Department of Natural Resources (MDNR) identified the need for adequate, dependable, and high-quality raw water supply for the public water supply districts and municipalities serving residents and businesses in Caldwell County.  This region has been affected by droughts and water shortages for many years; most recently in 2018.  Lack of water has created personal hardships for county residents and has limited potential growth.  In addition, there is a need to reduce damages from flooding on a 3.8-mile reach of Little Otter Creek where localized flooding occurs routinely and where major flooding has occurred in the past.  Further, there is a need to meet the unmet water-based recreational opportunities in Caldwell County.

The effort to create the Little Otter Creek Reservoir has involved local communities, State, and Federal governments.  NRCS has committed over $16 Million and the State of Missouri and local government has contributed over $5.5 Million.  The local citizens of Caldwell County overwhelmingly passed a ½ cent county sales tax in 2002 for the lake and have contributed over $4 million of local tax money. Most of those funds have been used for land acquisition, surveys, permitting, and other preliminary activities. The State of Missouri has also provided financial support and assistance from the MDNR, as well as several other state agencies.

“NRCS is proud to work alongside local and state partners to bring water security, safety, and recreation to Caldwell County and the surrounding region,” said Scott Edwards, State Conservationists of the USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service in Missouri. 

The groundbreaking ceremony will take place on Friday, March 19th, 2021 at 1:00 PM, three miles southeast of Hamilton, off NE Cottonwood Drive. Governor Mike Parson, elected officials, and State of Missouri Department Directors will be in attendance.  In case of inclement weather, the ceremony will be moved to the Hamilton United Methodist Church.  COVID-19 precautions will be in place for the safety of all attendees.

In case of inclement weather, the ceremony will be moved to the Hamilton United Methodist Church.  COVID-19 precautions will be in place for the safety of all attendees.