If droughts and water sales weren't enough, further complicating PK Lake's situation is the City of Abilene's plans to build the Cedar Ridge Reservoir in the area of West Texas that flows to PK. Nicklas explained that the project will involve damming up part of the Clear Fork tributary that runs to Possum Kingdom, not only confining additional water coming into the lake, but also likely adding to its salinity.
"The 600,000 acre-feet [of additional water the BRA wants to sell] plus the potential of the dam in Abilene would have even more of a dramatic impact on the recreational and economic impact out at Possum Kingdom," Nicklas said.
The BRA issued this statement to the Index in response to the commissioners' decision:
“The Brazos River Authority’s mission is to develop, manage and protect the water of the Brazos basin and to make that water available for beneficial use. We understand the concerns of Palo Pinto County residents regarding reservoir levels as they relate to recreational opportunities. However, our first priority is to fulfill our mandate from the Texas Legislature to ensure that water continues to flow from the faucets of homes and businesses basin-wide. To withhold drinking water in any amount in order to provide recreational opportunities in any portion of the Brazos basin is not an option."
In other business, commissioners unanimously:
• Approved monthly reports for the County Auditor, Sheriff, emergency management, Public Works and Information Technology.
• Accepted a bid from ABM Building Services in Fort Worth for HVAC, electrical, insulation and solar system for the Records Retention Facility in Palo Pinto.
• Awarded a bid to Newark Energy for the lease of mineral rights for 4.51 acres of right-of-way on State Highway 254, three miles west of Graford. The price is $500 an acre, for which Newark will provide 22 percent of royalties during the span of the one-year agreement.
• Approved the award of a construction contract for TxCDBGP Sewer Project No. 712270 and signed order.
• Approved Indigent Defense Grant Program Resolution – a formula grant for fiscal year 2014.
• Adopted a resolution casting votes for Palo Pinto Appraisal District Board of Directors.
• Approved bid specifications and re-advertisement for bids for Life Safety and Electrical Renovations for the Palo Pinto County Courthouse.
• Approved an agreement with Perdue, Brandon, Fielder and Collins for the collection of fines and fees and terminated contract with GHS. Commissioners specified that "each entity can either accept or reject the contract" with the collection agency.
• Approved an agreement with Bennett's Office Supply for maintenance of District Attorney's copy machine.
• Approved Boyle & Lowry, LLP, for review and revision of Palo Pinto County Subdivision Regulations.
• Took no action on a burn ban.