More Bonds Needed to Pay for White River Irrigation Project

FEBRUARY 23, 2007 - Posted at 7:27 a.m. CST

LITTLE ROCK, AR - The Arkansas Natural Resources Commission's director says the agency needs to be able to issue more bonds to help pay for additional costs for the Grand Prarie Irrigation project.

Commission director Randy Young told the Joint Budget Committee yesterday that he will ask the Legislature to put a bond issue before the voters in 2008.  He said the proposal would allow the agency to issue an additional $300 million in bonds to pay for irrigation and water projects.

Young and officials from the White River Irrigation District told lawmakers that the cost of the project has grown from its original estimate of $318 million to between $396 million and $437 million.

Young said the commission currently has about $170 million remaining in unobligated bonds, and said the agency needs additional money to pay for the Grand Prarie and other projects.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)