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Pathogens may impact use of Lake Buffalo

By: Dolores Hamilton
The Texas Institute of Applied Environmental Research will be conducting a study on the North Fork Buffalo Reservoir (Lake Buffalo) to assess the physical, chemical, biological and economic conditions affecting the use of Lake Buffalo. They also will try to determine the level of aquatic recreation that is actually occurring at the lake.

Calvin Clary explained to the city council Monday night the study his group will be performing. “The reason the project is being done is because Buffalo Creek is listed on the Texas 303(d) list which, if you’re not familiar, is a list of impaired water bodies in the State of Texas,” he said.

“Buffalo Creek is one of many streams that is impaired for bacteria. This means that the concentration of E.coli in the creek exceeds the state’s water quality standards,” Clary explained. E. Coli is the non-pathogenic indicator bacteria found in warm-blooded animals. These indicator bacteria are used to assess the possible presence of pathogens that would limit the contact recreation use of a waterbody.

Clary said that over the next 24 months his group would be conducting field surveys, interviews, and holding three public meetings. “We need public participation,” he said.

The public meetings will be held during the months of April through November.
Colt West of Crane-West Marketing was at the meeting to present the first drafts of the proposed city logos. Council members narrowed down the selection and made suggestions. West said they would work on the variations and have them ready for the next council meeting.

The next person to address the council was a representative of McKinstry Energy and Facility Solutions to discuss doing a study of the city’s aging water meters, inefficient lighting of municipal buildings, and maintenance and operation procedures at the wastewater treatment facility.

He described the services his company offers and the ways they can generate savings to the city. Cost of the study is $37,500.

The council tabled taking action until a later meeting.

City manager Mike Price gave the quarterly report on the city’s current financial condition and future needs. Water restrictions were discussed, and Councilman Brad Wynn asked if Wichita Falls implemented Stage 3 water restrictions, would we do the same? Price replied, “Whatever Wichita Falls puts in place, we will mirror.”

A list of streets to be built, rebuilt, or slurred this year was discussed, and council members decided to table the selection until the next meeting when more information would be available.

The Iowa Park school district was given a waiver of the city’s outdoor burning restrictions.

The school has a large pile of brush that was accumulated for the homecoming bonfire that was cancelled due to drought conditions. Contractors working on the athleltic complex need to use the area where the brush pile is located.

Fire Chief Randy Fulbright said he would be comfortable with the waiver. The council agreed to approve the waiver if the fire chief, city manager, and police chief were all agreeable that conditions are right at the time of the controlled burn.