COLUMBIA – A $713,000 grant awarded to the Boone County Public Works Department will be used for projects designed to help reduce pollution in Hinkson Creek, according to Georganne Bowman, Boone County Stormwater Coordinator.
Gov. Jay Nixon, Sara Pauley, director of the Missouri Department of Natural Resources, and Columbia Mayor Bob McDavid announced Thursday morning that the Boone County Department of Public Works will receive the grant.
The Department of Natural Resources has pegged Hinkson Creek as an "impaired stream" since 1998. The Environmental Protection Agency has recommended a 39.6 percent reduction in stormwater runoff to alleviate the problem, according to a previous Missourian article.
The grant will fund a stormwater reduction project at Sunrise Estates, a neighborhood in the 90-square-mile Hinkson watershed. The county will install 45 to 65 rain barrels and implement other stormwater “best management practices” to prevent excess runoff and flash floods, both of which have caused problems for the 200-home subdivision, according to Bowman.
The county will also look into planting trees to help absorb and filter excess stormwater that would otherwise flow into Hinkson Creek.
The county also will install a climate station and infiltrometers — devices used to measure water the ground absorbs — to measure the effectiveness of the project.
“We don’t want to go 10 years down the road just to find out that if we had done things a little differently, the results would have been much better,” Bowman said.
Bowman said she is awaiting approval from the Sunrise Estates Home Owners Association to start the project. The association’s vice president, Matt Fox, said all are in agreement with the project and are waiting to grant approval at the association’s next meeting this month, which could happen as soon as Tuesday.
Grant funding will also go towards projects at the Grissum Building, 1313 Lakeview Drive. The 10-acre site owned by the city will be retrofitted with underground detention pockets and pervious pavement that will absorb water rather than allow runoff.