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City's efforts to conserve water
not meeting required amount
(06/27/13)

by Dolores Hamilton
As area lake levels continue to decline, Iowa Park’s efforts to reduce water consumption by 35 percent, as directed by the City of Wichita Falls when Stage 3 Water Restrictions went into effect, have fallen short.

Monday the Iowa Park City Council reviewed recommendations for additional restrictions aimed at cutting back on water use even more and will vote on approval of these at a called meeting next Monday.

Iowa Park and its wholesale water customers (Electra, Wichita Valley Water Supply, and Horseshoe Bend Estates) get all of their water from Wichita Falls.

In February, with combined lake levels under 40 percent, Wichita Falls implemented Stage 3 Drought Restrictions which has a goal of reducing overall water use by 35 percent. By contract, Iowa Park and Wichita Falls’ other wholesale water customers, including Burkburnett, are required to follow suit and cut their water use by the same amount. If they don’t, they could face a reduction in the amount of water they receive from Wichita Falls.

Council members said they don’t think some residents understand how critical the water situation is and need to be educated on ways to conserve water.

On Monday, combined levels of Lake Kickapoo and Lake Arrowhead was down to 35.6 percent. If the combined total drops to 30 percent, then the more stringent State 4 Restrictions will go into effect, which calls for a 50 percent reduction in water use.

At the beginning of the meeting, votes from the run-off election were canvassed and Keith Dyer was declared the winner of Place 3 on the council. He was given the oath of office by City Secretary Janice Newman. Mayor Dan Fears read a proclamation for outgoing council member Mark Raby declaring June 25, 2013 at Mark Raby Day in Iowa Park, and presented him with a gift from the council.

The mayor suggested that the council should keep Sherrie Williams as mayor pro tem for another term, and her appointment was unanimously approved by the other council members.

After a closed session to discuss the possible sale of city-owned property, the council voted to authorize the city manager and the economic development director to advertise for bids for sale of the 700 block of West Highway to prospective venture capitalist for retail, mercantile occupancy.

A public hearing was held to consider the annexation of a 2.174-acre tract of land that fronts on the access road east of Victoria. The land is being sold to Electra Memorial Hospital as the site for a new medical clinic. City Manager Mike Price said construction should start in a couple of months.

A public hearing to receive public input on the City of Iowa Park’s 2012 “Drinking Water Quality Report” was held. Price said copies of the report will be sent to all Iowa Park water customers.

The council approved the appointment of Judge Diane Dockery as Associate Judge for the Iowa Park Municipal Court in the absence of Dan Tompkins who is having surgery.