Missouri 6th District Congressman Sam Graves has announced all agencies involved have given their approval to the Little Otter Creek Lake project. The announcement means that construction can now begin.

The contractor bidding process will begin this Fall to prepare for the construction of the 344-acre multipurpose reservoir. The primary purpose for the Little Otter Creek Lake is to provide a drinking water source for Caldwell County communities and surrounding area, The project is also intended to aid with flood control and recreational opportunities.

Construction plans have been completed and approved and the land for the lake has been acquired. The Little Otter Creek Lake will be the first water supply lake that the Corp of Engineers has approved in over twenty-five years in Missouri. Mozingo Lake in Nodaway County was the last community lake to be approved and was built in the early 1990’s. The Federal government has committed over 16 million dollars and over 5.5 million from the state and local government toward the lake project. The local citizens of Caldwell County overwhelmingly passed a ½ cent county sales tax in 2004 for the lake and have contributed over 4 million dollars of local tax money to date. 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 Department of Natural Resources as well as several other state agencies.

Plans are to start land clearing of the pool area this winter. Construction of the dam and reservoir will begin next summer. As part of the permit approval, in conjunction with the lake construction, five low water crossings will be removed and replaced with span structure bridges as part of the mitigation requirements. Other mitigation requirements include purchasing stream credits and wetland credits along with riparian plantings on some of the county owned lake property. It is estimated that clearing and construction will take approximately two years. Based on average rainfall, it may take up to two years for the lake to fill.

The Little Otter Creek Lake is to be located approximately 3 miles east of Hamilton on the south side of Highway 36.

For more information, contact the Caldwell County Commission at 816-586-2571.