The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) has completed dam repairs on Pilot Grove dam No. 28 in Collin County, which is the first American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009 dam repair construction finished in the state of Texas.

In June, federal funding from the ARRA resulted in the completed repairs to Pilot Grove dam No. 28 ($241,419) as well as Little Elm and Laterals dam No. 16 ($305,781). To date, the two dams encompass 2,506 project area acres at a total cost of $547,200, providing more than $183,800 in annual benefits to downstream properties in the county.

“With the completion of Pilot Grove No. 28, we have completed the first Recovery Act funded dam repair in Texas using federal stimulus dollars, and that’s a great accomplishment for Collin County and its communities,” said Clyde Hogue, NRCS district conservationist for Collin County.

The needed repairs are from slope slides on the flood control dams that occurred during periods of heavy rainfall following extended drought and wave erosion damage. The completed repairs will ensure the dams are safe, providing benefits for years to come.

“The benefits to the county from the dam repairs are maintaining the infrastructure, increasing safety measures for the residents and properties, along with preventing the possibility of loss of life,” Hogue said.

Besides NRCS, local sponsors for the dams include the Collin County Soil and Water Conservation District and Collin County Commissioner’s Court.

Flood prevention dams within the Trinity River Watershed are a part of nearly 2,000 dams constructed in Texas by NRCS and local sponsors. These dams continue to provide nearly $120 million of annual benefits protecting downstream properties and infrastructure, as well as countless lives across the entire state.

Moreover, project repairs will maintain the integrity and function of the dams. Benefits include downstream protection of farms, communities, and bridges from flooding, along with reduced sedimentation into lakes and other waterways, and enhancement of riparian area wildlife habitat.

Dam repairs funded through the ARRA are part of the Obama Administration’s plans to modernize the nation’s infrastructure, jump-start the economy, and create jobs.

NRCS is using Recovery Act dollars to update aging flood control structures, protect and maintain water supplies, improve water quality, reduce soil erosion, enhance fish and wildlife habitat, and restore wetlands.

Dam repairs within the sub-watersheds of the Trinity River also will create or save jobs through industries supplying or supporting construction activities and the sale of goods and services. In addition to the jobs created, this program will increase the demand for construction supplies and equipment, adding approximately $12.77 million to the local economy overall.

For more information about NRCS watershed programs, please visit the NRCS Texas Web site at www.tx.nrcs.usda.gov/programs/watersheds.