The state’s Director of Agriculture thinks it might be time to take a look at how local levee districts do business.

Jon Hagler says local levee district boards are generally not well-funded, yet are faced with a monumental task to protect lives and property. He says lawmakers may need to address how issues such as districts are funded, the setting of minimal standards for levees and other management issues.

Missouri Levee and Drainage District Association Chairman Tom Waters does not disagree, but he says such a review should include the entire Missouri River Basin. He thinks the federal government’s priorities regarding the River are environmental issues, which would make it unlikely such a massive study would receive funding.

Waters says it has been 30 years since flood control in the Missouri River Basin has been studied and improved. In that time, development including home, business and even parking lot construction has lead to more water running into the River and at a faster rate. He thinks this leaves the last major flood control assessment out-of-date and ineffective.

Hear a portion of Mike Lear’s interview with Jon Hagler here:

Missouri Ag Director Jon Hagler talks flooding 07-07-11.MP3