By BRIAN SMITH
An estimated $16.8 million is needed to fix all what ails the Holland Lake watershed, Weatherford council members were told during a Tuesday work session.
Kelly Gillard, with consulting firm Freese and Nichols, who made the presentation, said not all suggestions need to be implemented right away, or at all. Gillard and her team began working on a study in February and worked throughout the summer gathering data.
“By doing this study, we simply wanted to give the city the vision and provide the benefits of developing a stormwater plan citywide,” Gillard said. “The issues I’ve seen here are not unlike what I’ve seen at other areas of the Metroplex.”
Director of Capital Teansportation Projects Terry Hughes said monies from the stormwater utility plan fund, which is expected to have $1 million to $1.5 million in revenue each year, could go toward such projects.Before the plan was developed last year, Hughes said there were an estimated $10 million in stormwater projects planned.
Over the years there has been residential development in the watershed itself, which has caused erosion. While walking the lake, data was collected and a detailed analysis of the lake itself was done, which found the lake half as deep, due to sediment to the tune of 12,000 cubic yards.
“The original lake was 18-feet deep and that is now down to 8 feet because of erosion and sediment over the years,” Gillard said. “We actually had problems finding the bottom of the lake.”
Many of the erosion concerns come along Holland Lake Creek and South Holland Lake Creek, Gillard said.
Where do we go from here?
A proposed solution requires a multi-tiered approach, aided by purchasing another 40 acres of flood plain to nearly triple what the city currently has. The estimated $4.1 million purchase would help protect the structures in the plan from damage, along with natural resources.