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St. Charles County, MO - As of early June 2014, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers St. Louis District turned over the Unit L-15 levee back to the Consolidated North County Levee District (CNCLD) after completion of construction to bring the levee to a 20-year nominal level of flood protection. This means that while the levee belongs to the CNCLD, it is a federal-aid levee that will be 100% reimbursed for any future flood-related damages.
The CNCLD stretches from the city limits of St. Charles on the Missouri River, down river to the confluence and back up the Mississippi River to just upstream from Portage des Sioux. The levee provides protection for approximately 30,000 acres of farmland and associated improvements in the Missouri and Mississippi river floodplains. The levee alignment and maintenance of the levee district is approximately 41 miles.
As a thank you in celebration of the construction completion, the CNCLD presented St. Charles County Executive Steve Ehlmann with a resolution for his work over the years on behalf of the levee district. Ehlmann provided legal counsel to the CNCLD during his time as an attorney, and continued to assist the CNCLD as a Missouri State Representative and Senator. As a State Senator, Ehlmann pressed for CNCLD Federal-aid levee protection and 100% reimbursement of any future flood related damages.
“With over 90% of the land in this district used for farming, the levee protects some of the most productive farmland in the nation. This is a huge accomplishment for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Consolidated North County Levee District,” said Ehlmann. “By building the levee to this level of protection, millions of tax dollars will be saved.”
“This levee protects not only farmers and farmland, all the residents in the area, and the ancestral property of many St. Charles County residents, but also provides access to the Ameren plant, Boeing, and the Orchard Farm School system,” said Danny Kluesner, president of the Consolidated North County Levee District. “If it weren’t for the efforts of the County Executive and Ray Machens, the first president of the Consolidated North County Levee District, we wouldn’t have accomplished this project.”
In addition to Ehlmann’s and Machens’ work, in 1996 U.S. Rep. Jim Talent and Sen. Christopher “Kit” Bond worked on legislation to change federal statute to allow a maximum of 20-year level of protection on both sides of the Missouri River from St. Charles to the confluence with the Mississippi River.