Weatherford Democrat

Top News

February 13, 2013

County makes no promises for additional flood control funding

By JUDY SHERIDAN

Melton Harms, chairman of the board for the Parker County Soil and Water Conservation District, didn’t get any assurances from Parker County Commissioners Monday that — come budget time — the court would up its $30,000 yearly allotment to maintain aging flood control structures in the Trinity River Watershed.

Instead, Harms — who asked the court for more money — was directed by Judge Mark Riley to work with individual commissioners to secure assistance from their off-season work crews.

“I know we could do that without any legal issues,” Riley said, referring to a longstanding contract with the U.S. Department of Agriculture to help maintain the structures, built by the USDA/Natural Resources Conservation Service in the 1950s.

“The stability or instability of those dams could have an impact on our roads depending on where they are, so if we have some in that situation it seems to me that road and bridge could work without being reimbursed or anything like that.

“If we offset some of the road and bridge costs, it’s still cheaper than paying someone from another county to come up here and mow.”

The 34 flood-retarding structures — mainly small reservoirs that trap and release storm water slowly — are located on private property, many in northern Parker County, according to Wanda Carter, office manager for the PCSWCD.

Originally erected in rural areas, the structures are gradually being encroached on as the county urbanizes, Carter said, and three are now part of residential subdivisions. 

The district owns the easements necessary to operate and maintain the reservoirs, Carter said, which has become more and more work as the structures age.

“Commissioner Craig Peacock has most of them in his precinct,” Carter added, “and he helps us tremendously.”

Private landowners also sometimes help with mowing, she said.

In his presentation to the court, Harms emphasized how important the reservoirs are, saying they control runoff from more than 54,000 acres, protecting infrastructure, private property and lives.

Text Only
Top News
Must Read
Top News
House Ads
AP Video
Kerry: Humanitarian Cease-fire Efforts Continue Raw: Corruption Trial Begins for Former Va Gov. The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming UN Security Council Calls for Gaza Cease-fire Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating 13 Struck by Lightning on Calif. Beach Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted Israel, Hamas Trade Fire Despite Truce in Gaza Italy's Nibali Set to Win First Tour De France Raw: Shipwrecked Concordia Completes Last Voyage Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge From Nest Raw: Massive Dust Storm Covers Phoenix 12-hour Cease-fire in Gaza Fighting Begins Raw: Bolivian Dancers Attempt to Break Record Raw: Israel, Palestine Supporters Rally in US Raw: Air Algerie Flight 5017 Wreckage Virginia Governor Tours Tornado Aftermath Judge Faces Heat Over Offer to Help Migrant Kids Kangaroo Goes Missing in Oklahoma More M17 Bodies Return, Sanctions on Russia Grow
Poll

The City of Weatherford is considering an ordinance that would ban smoking inside restaurants and enclosed areas where food is prepared, sold or consumed. Do you agree with this proposal?

Yes
No
Undecided
Don't care
     View Results