Marvin Nichols Reservoir is still up in the air, and many locals, whose properties are situated in the area of the proposed lake, are still not fully on board.
It’s been a battle since 2014, and residents in the proposed area of Titus, Franklin and Red River counties appear to be vehemently opposed.
According to statements made on a social media thread, what appears to be the big issue is that of lost taxable land, as well as landowners losing not just property but revenue on top of that.
Ahead of a proposed meeting set for Jan. 14, at 9:00 a.m., in Sulphur Springs, at the Hopkins County Regional Civic Center, Aaron Rolen took to Facebook to give those in the area a heads up on the issue and where it stands at the moment from his perspective.
“Anyone concerned about Region C (DFW) Water Board’s attempt to force Marvin Nichols Reservoir back into Northeast Texas needs to be at the upcoming meeting on,” Rolen posted. “I’m certainly not an expert on the subject, but a few people have called me with questions, and I’ve seen quite a bit of misinformation floating around social media.”
He did point out that there are a few facts that he is aware of, and that he also feels those whom this reservoir would effect should know.
Rolen understands that Marvin Nichols is estimated to be around 65,000 acres (NOT including mitigation land), in which the estimated size of the lake has fluctuated over time, depending on what factors are calculated and what elevations are used in the calculations. Hence, the actual proposed size is a little unclear.
How much mitigation land will the lake require? According to Rolen’s post, he believes the lake will require a lot of wildlife mitigation land, but the exact amount of area and location are still unknown.
“The figures vary for the amount of mitigation land, but everything I’ve seen indicates that it will be a ratio range from 1:1 up to 1:6. In other words, for every acre of the lake, the state will take up to six acres of land for wildlife mitigation. That is 65,000 – 390,000 acres that will be essentially untouchable. (I also read a study completed for Region C that seemed to infer that the mitigation land could be less than 1:1, but I haven’t seen/heard a single person or other credible source supporting this.),” he posted.
What appears to have locals even more worrisome, is that in an agreement dated back to Aug. 10, 2015, between Region’ D and C, stated, “Region C will move the Marvin Nichols Reservoir as a designated strategy to the year 2070 in its 2016 regional water plan.”
The “Agreement Resolving the Declared Conflict,” also stated that Region C would adopt resolutions to recommend that water suppliers in Region C not submit any water rights applications for new reservoirs that would be located in Region D through the end of the fifth cycle of regional water planning for Regions C and D, resulting in the development of the 2021 regional water plans.
Ahead of the October planning meetings, Thompson said that with the help of sub-committees and facilitators, he hopes the right decision will be made.
The representatives further agreed that they will seek to have their regions “work more cooperatively in the next regional water planning process.”
Speaking with Jim Thompson from Region D, he said that the upcoming meeting would be the two regions getting together to see if there was a possible solution to the initial plan for the proposed reservoir.
“We anticipate a good turn out at the meeting,” he said. “This is a long-standing dispute between the two regions and holds a great deal of concern for those that live in the area of the proposed site.”