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Business & Economics

Lewis & Clark Leader Outraged By Proposed Funding

Lewis & Clark Regional Water System

If President Obama’s proposed budget goes through, the Lewis and Clark rural water project receives $2.4 million for 2015.

Water project executive director Troy Larson says he’s outraged at the appropriation. He says it means zero construction progress for the vital water supply.

"It’s a complete travesty. Last year’s number was already incredible low at $3.2 million, and he’s lowered it even further despite all the efforts of our tri-state delegation and Lewis and Clark to increase funding," Larson says. "This is a project that creates jobs on the front end through construction, the back end through economic development. It’s a project that pays for itself. This is basic infrastructure, and all the members have prepaid."

Members of Congress from South Dakota, Minnesota and Iowa just announced they restored $5 million the president cut from the 2014 budget. Twenty cities and rural water systems depend on the Lewis and Clark pipeline. Construction is already six years behind schedule.