The Army Corps of Engineers is asking for input as it begins its five-year, $25 million study of the Missouri River. 

John Grothaus with the Kansas City District of the Corps says the first phase of the project is “public scoping” to get input from stakeholders and agencies, as well as members of the general public.

“The first phase of the study, which is in some respects going to shape how we conduct our assessment of the existing conditions in the basin and how we shape the formulation of alternative plans. You know, what are people’s views what are their priorities?” Grothaus said.

The study will examine whether a 1944 federal law needs to be changed or revised from the eight set ‘purposes’ for the river, its dams and reservoirs.

“The fact that we’ve been granted this authority through Congress indicates that Congress feels like there’s some wisdom in looking at the purposes and seeing if any changes are needed or warranted,” Grothaus said.

Those eight purposes, outlined 65 years ago, are flood control, irrigation, hydropower, navigation, water supply, recreation, water quality, and fish and wildlife.

“Values change and purposes are sometimes framed in a different light 65 years down the road and we want to hear all about that,” Grothaus said.

There will be 30 public hearings over the next 3 months in cities all the way from Montana to Missouri. The Corps wants feedback from a variety of sources.

“Anybody that’s affected by or has a strong interest in the Missouri River, the Missouri River basin, and federal infrastructure. Agencies, interest groups, non-governmental organizations, environmental groups, members of the public, business owners,” Grothaus said.

There will be hearings next week in Jefferson City, Kansas City, and St. Joseph; and a St. Louis hearing in July. See the details below. Follow this link for more information on the study.

June 1st, 2010: Hearing at Capitol Plaza Hotel; 415 West McCarty Street, Jefferson City, MO 65101

June 2nd 2010: Hearing at Marriott Country Club Plaza; 4445 Main St, Kansas City, MO 64111

June 3rd, 2010: Hearing at Ramada Inn; 4016 Frederick Blvd, St. Joseph, MO 64506

July 9th, 2010: Hearing at Doubletree Hotel at Westport; 1973 Craigshire Rd, St. Louis, MO 63146

All hearings are scheduled for 5:00pm-8:00pm; The first two hours will contain presentations and a question and answer session with Corps of Engineers Study Team members. The final hour is an ‘open mic’ session, to simply hear input from attendees.