Within U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Southwestern Division a board of governance for the 445-mile McClellan-Kerr Arkansas River Navigation System has been established to corporately manage the system.
Historically, the two districts responsible for operation and maintenance of the system, Little Rock and Tulsa, have done very well in teaming up to establish priorities and execute work that is critical to maintaining a reliable system.
In times of flat or decreasing budgets and increasing needs for maintenance and repair, the Corps must ensure the system is managed to be as effective and efficient as possible, that strategic plans are in place, and that stakeholders are active participants in the planning and communication of system activities.
“We’re basically doing everything we can to maximize the federal investment,” said MKARNS Program Manager John Balgavy. “We’re looking for better ways to streamline our processes and polices across the board to ensure we’re working efficiently and applying as much of our funding to maintenance as possible.”
The board developed the following objective to give stakeholders a better idea of the regional partnership’s goals.
“The goal of the MKARNS Board of Governance is to transform the outstanding working relationships of the “Northern Alliance” into a structured, disciplined MKARNS Regional Governance Board that performs as one entity to make the MKARNS reliable, resilient and relevant and promote growth for future generations.”
“One thing to note about that statement,” said Balgavy “Is that Little Rock and Tulsa wrote it together and then modified it after a meeting with several stakeholders.”
The stakeholders added the words “promote growth for future generations.”
The board consists of the commander, deputy district engineer for project management, and chief of Operations Division from each of the two districts; the chief of Operations and Regulatory Division from Southwestern Division; and the MKARNS program manager. The district commanders co-chair the board with the Little Rock commander assigned as the executive director.