By CLINT FOSTER
PALO PINTO – As a result of the drought that has held an iron grip on Palo Pinto County for the past several months, Palo Pinto County Commissioners unanimously voted to approve a resolution to the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality opposing the Brazos River Authority's sale of any additional water out of Possum Kingdom Lake.
The decision came during a regularly scheduled meeting of the court on Monday morning in the Palo Pinto County Courthouse.
Commissioners were motivated not only by the low amount of water left in the lake, but also by the impact continually lowering lake levels will have on the many residents that call PK home.
"Although Possum Kingdom Lake was not built as a recreational lake, it has become one," Palo Pinto County Judge David Nicklas read from the resolution during the meeting. "Many businesses depend on the lake... We ask that TCEQ seriously consider the effects that drastically lowering the level of Possum Kingdom Lake will have on Palo Pinto County and Possum Kingdom."
After opposing approval of the BRA's request to sell additional water from the Brazos River Basin in court, Nicklas explained to the Index the significant importance of PK Lake. He said that the many houses and developments around the lake – ranging from modest homes to million-dollar mansions – support about 48 percent of Palo Pinto County's tax base. He added that commissioners are concerned that if the BRA is allowed to sell more water, on top of what is already coming out of the waning lake, property values would plummet right along with the dangerously low lake level.
Nicklas said what was additionally concerning about the BRA's request was that they never specified who or what these additional water sales would be to or for.