Wednesday, July 1, 2015

July 4th Shutdown in San Angelo

The City of San Angelo has long treated Twin Buttes Reservoir as a mere afterthought.  Significant resources have gone to Lake Nasworthy and a mere pittance toward Twin Buttes in my twenty five years here.  Ever since the lessee walked in 1996 the city provided minimal services with begrudging effort.  Essentially the only service left was fireworks cleanup from Twin Buttes annual trashing.  Now that's gone.

The contrast between Nasworthy and Twin Buttes can be seen in the city's approach to big events.  How much did the city spend to cleanup up after last weekend's Lake Nasworthy boat races, known as The Showdown in San Angelo?  Compare that with Twin Buttes July 4th shutdown.  I wrote my City Councilman and the Mayor Monday evening and so far I've not gotten a response.  I'll post it if one arrives. 

Dear Councilman Fleming and Mayor Morrison,

I read the news of the city's closing Twin Buttes Reservoir for the weekend of July 4th. While I've long lamented the annual trashing of Twin Buttes I never thought the city would close the park completely. One of the missions of the Bureau of Reclamation is recreation. July 4th is a holiday weekend where people travel to recreate. Water destinations in West Texas are quite a draw, especially lakes with rising water levels like Twin Buttes.

I ask you to read the San Angelo Living supplement in this weekend's Standard Times. It markets Twin Buttes as having chemical toilets (removed over a decade ago) and camper hookups (not longer working and inside pipe rail). While it is expressly not truth in advertising, it did go out to tens of thousands of homes in the Concho Valley and beyond.

The City adopted a Master Recreation Plan for Twin Buttes in 2013. City Council sets policy and closing Twin Buttes completely for July 4th weekend is a major change in policy. When did Council have this on the agenda and when did it approve such a change? The public's voice was not sought or included.

I am an avid windsurfer and paddle boarder and looked forward to recreating at Twin Buttes during the day this coming weekend. It is not safe for me to do either sport at Lake Nasworthy due to high boat traffic.
Twin Buttes is ideal for both sports as few boats are able to launch at current lake levels.

I ask you to explain this decision to me as my representative to City Council. I look forward to your reply. Sincerely,

TBR blog author

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