Future of Marvin Nichols Lake to rest with compromise group
By KERRY CRAIG
News-Telegram Staff Writer
Following an order from an appeals court, the Texas Water Development Board has passed the burden of deciding whether to build Marvin Nichols Lake or not.
A day after the appeals court ruling was released, the North East Texas Water Planning Group [Region D] was meeting in Mount Pleasant and a representative from Texas Water Development Board told the Region D Board a Texas water Development Board meeting would be held this week to decide the logistics for meetings between Region C and Region D, set up agendas and meeting dates in an effort to reach a resolution.
Hopkins County Commissioner sits a member of the Region D board representing Hopkins County.
“She predicted that it would probably be in June of 2014 before a final resolution would come to the forefront,” Evans said. “This is in answer to a court order by a court of appeals that directs Region C and Region D to resolve the issue of Marvin Nichols Lake, whether it’s going to be or whether it’s not going to be.”
Evans said the TWDB representative offered no clues as to who be on the compromise planning group and that he had no idea just what a solution might involve.
“I really don’t,” he said. “I’m thinking they’re going to decide whether Marvin Nichols is going to be or not going to be and that’s going to have a direct impact on everything in the future.”
Region C has been pushing for the construction of Marvin Nichols.
“They have the power and clout, it leans their way because of the population and the size of the Metroplex,” he said. “But, that’s not saying they will get their way, so the final resolution is going to affect everything that’s planned and done in East Texas as far as water for the Metroplex, probably, for the next couple decades.”
Marvin Nichols Lake, which would be mostly north and east of Mount Pleasant along the Sulphur River, would inundate tens of thousands of acres of productive ranches and timberland. Additional land would be taken out of production as “mitigation” for the reservoir, land that would be set aside to compensate for lost wetlands and wildlife habitat. Economists predict extensive negative impacts to the region's agriculture and timber economy, causing great concern to area landowners and businessmen.
Any solution coming from the compromise group will affect more than the Marvin Nichols Lake issue.
“It’s going to affect the Parkhill Lakes and any other lake that might be built and where that lake is going to be on the priority list.” he said. “So, there is a lot riding on this decision.”
Over the next year, meetings with Region C and Region D members are expected to hammer out a deal that will impact the future of water resources for cities in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex area as well as the future agriculture and industry as well as property owners in North East Texas.
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