• Photo by Mark Henry - SRBA board president Chris Spencer of Linden checks his notes during the meeting held Aug. 28 in Mount Pleasant.

River authority board discusses Wright Patman Lake

The Sulphur River Basin Authority board met at the Civic Center in Mount Pleasant Tuesday, Aug. 28 in front of a crowd of approximately 30 interested area residents and local government officials. After the normal activities of approving the minutes of the previous meeting and approving reports, the board approved tabling four agenda items due to the absence of two board members.
The board approved an amendment to the 2017 -2018 budget as well as the proposed 2018 – 2019 budget. A Feasibility Study was updated for the board including that tentatively expected action in September could get pushed back to a later date. 
SBRA Water Quality Consultant Mike Buttram provided a presentation on the Water Advisor/Sedimentation of Lake Wright Patman and how it compares to other area lakes. According to Buttram the sedimentation in Wright Patman previously thought to be coming from upstream is actually occurring mostly in the lake itself due to erosion of the lake banks and shoreline. The flood in 2015 caused obvious erosion shown in recent photos of different areas around the lake. 
Specifically cited as concerns was for future flooding events as well as the Texarkana water pickup structure being affected by the erosion of the bank on which it was originally built. 
However, when Buttram moved to the comparison with other lakes in northeast Texas, Wright Patman clearly compared favorably. A combination of measurable factors positions Lake Wright Patman ahead of most other lakes in the region, according to the presentation.
During public comments only two people signed up to speak. First, Marna Martinez spoke to log jams and the associated flooding created in the area of the Hwy 271 bridge near the Delta/Hopkins county line. Martinez specifically requested a feasibility study on the causes of and possible solutions for the problem(s).
Steve Mayo, former mayor of Texarkana and current Regional Water Liaison for the city, addressed the board. He thanked the board for the opportunity to discuss future collaboration and even partnering with the SRBA.
“We hope to partner with the board specific to protecting the lake and future water needs,” said Mayo. “We realize a seat at the table would also require us to have some skin in the game. We look forward to building trust between us. Trust is hard to earn and even once earned, can be destroyed with a single call or email.”
After a few announcements from the board the meeting was adjourned. The next meeting of the SRBA board will be held at 1:00 p.m. Sept. 18 at the Mount Pleasant Civic Center. The agenda is expected to include discussion and possible action on authorizing execution of the Second Amendment to the Advance Funding Agreement dated May 28, 2013, a letter from Riverbend Water Resources District, the RFQ requests for a Strategic Plan, and the process for hiring an Executive Director.
 

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