Representatives from KCIC and the Missouri and Associated Rivers Coalition (MOARC) travelled to Washington, D.C. in late September to inform and educate congressional offices and federal water resource agencies on Kansas City area flood control projects requiring ongoing funding. KCIC sends a delegation to D.C. twice each year to lobby on behalf of local projects crucial to retaining economic viability of our industrial areas.
During the September visit, KCIC and MOARC representatives took the opportunity to thank the congressional offices funds to complete construction of Swope Park Industrial Area flood remediation and the Supplemental Bill that will fund the Kansas Citys Levees to completion. KCIC and MOARC continues to provide a unique perspective with 12 representatives from the Kansas City metro city governments, regional businesses, and several area industrial councils traveling to meet with congressional offices and agencies. The group met with 15 House and Senate congressional offices, the majority and minority authorization and appropriations committees, OMB, FEMA, the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works (ASA-CW) and the Corps of Engineers (Corps) over the three days of visits. The objective of the visit was to set the stage for funding needs for the fiscal year 2020 budget and the 2019 Corps of Engineers Work Plan for on-going and new projects as well as discuss issues of concern across a wide variety of issues affecting interests within our basins.
Priority messages to the Congressional offices, Corps, ASA-CW, and OMB were regarding language proposed under WRDA to support the Kansas Citys Levees as a single on-going project and the funding needs under the Supplemental funding bill. Other funding priorities discussed included the needs for fiscal years 2019 (FY19) and 2020 (FY20) to include design funds for the Upper Turkey Creek Basin flood control project and the need for new start water resource projects for the Kansas River Basin and Lower Missouri River Basin. The strong messaging KCIC and MOARC members provided resonated with the offices resulting with the start of discussions between several Congressional offices and the ASA-CW and Corps regarding language and funding to continue completion of critical projects. In addition, water supply affordability, National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) needs, and Combined Sewer Overflow (CSO) compliance orders and current federal coordination were key messages brought up with the congressional offices and FEMA.
As in the past, the diversity of stakeholders within KCIC and MOARC advocating for improved flood protection to support continued economic development in the Kansas and Missouri River basins continues to impress the congressional delegation, appropriations committees, and the Corps of Engineers. The visit emphasized stakeholder interests and issues as well as local participation in projects. The on-going partnerships with the Corps of Engineers, congressional offices, and local sponsors of projects have successfully completed major portions of projects or secured funding to complete critical flood control projects in the region. We emphasized the success of these partnerships and the need to continue these relationships.