DNR’s definition of a disadvantaged community is “any community with a population of less than 3,300, whose user rates will be at or above 2% of the MHI, and the MHI is at or below 75% of the state average MHI.” As shown in the table below, all incorporated areas within the Commission service area fit the definition and meet the criteria to be designated a “disadvantaged” community. Analysis of the county subdivisions predominantly served by the Commission indicates that their average MHI is 72.7% of the state average. This evaluation of the disadvantaged community status was validated in a letter from Spencer, Fane, Britt and Browne, the reservoir project’s counsel.
The North Central Missouri Regional Water Commission’s (NCMRWC) current service area is one of the most economically challenged and underserved regions in Missouri. Multiple communities have a Median House Income (MHI) of less than 50% of the state average (2006-2010 American Community Survey) and poverty rates that are notable in Missouri as some of the highest.