After years of working in their family’s various construction companies, it was time for Charlotte Smarr and her daughters, Riley Smarr and Morgan Smarr...
Alliance Water Resources, quietly going about its business at its corporate headquarters on Keene Street, has grown during the years into one of Missouri’s leading managers of water and sewer systems.
“There are other companies that do what we do,” Sandy Neal, vice president of marketing and business development, said. “No one does as much as we do here in Missouri.”
The primary job Alliance performs is to manage and maintain water and sewer systems for communities and districts. The company provides service to 25 locations, ranging from smaller communities such as Bowling Green to the largest district it serves, St. Charles County Water District No. 2, with more than 100,000 customers.
“We’re a Columbia-based company and serve communities all throughout Missouri and two communities in Iowa,” Neal said.
In recent months, Alliance announced renewal of its contract with the Public Water Supply District No. 1 of Franklin County, with whom Alliance first started working in 2005, and the award of a new five-year contract to manage the city of Nevada’s wastewater treatment system.
Alliance Water Resources started in 1976 as Mid-Missouri Engineers Inc. to provide specialty services to the water and wastewater industry. In the early 1980s, the company began to play a role in the professional management and maintenance of water and wastewater systems and districts, the role it fills today.
Across Missouri and in Iowa, Alliance employs more than 250 people, mostly in the communities and districts it serves. The Columbia headquarters offices 15 employees, including President Gary Anger and other company leaders.
The company does not have any contracts in Boone County.
The diversity of Alliance’s services occasionally goes beyond water and sewer system management and maintenance. In Bowling Green, for example, Alliance started managing the water and sewer systems and expanded the relationship with the city over many years. Now, Alliance serves as the community’s department of public works. Its services include non-water-related activities such as mowing the cemetery, making minor street repairs and putting up the city’s Christmas lights.
“The city liked what we were doing, so eventually we added to the scope of services,” Neal said.
Neal said a key advantage that Alliance offers is access to the entire company’s expertise. In Ste. Genevieve, for example, the city typically would have hired four people to do the job that Alliance was hired to do. Alliance provided a staff of four but with access to the rest of its employees throughout the company.
“If one of our community’s has a problem, instead of completely relying on the knowledge of the local staff, they can reach out to the rest of our company to find someone with the expertise they need,” Neal said.
“Instead of buying four people, they bought a company of resources,” Neal said. “There is no way these communities, particularly smaller communities, can even begin to afford the multitude of service that they get, as they need them and when they need them.”