Sunday, October 25, 2015

City Should Have Nearly $500,000 for Twin Buttes in 2016

The City of San Angelo's Comprehensive 2014 Annual Financial Report indicated

San Angelo Water Supply Corporation
Project Name: Twin Buttes Dam and Reservoir (Twin Buttes) - Annual Payments of $450,000 to $470,000 are required through the year 2015 for the retirement of the contractor's debt. Total estimated payments are $16,327,293. The City is contractually obligated to operate and maintain the project storage works and the basic recreational facilities for the useful life of the project.
Payments will stop in 2016 finally freeing up money for the city to use on the Twin Buttes Master Recreation Plan.  The City can simply take the money it has been paying for Twin Buttes and use it to improve recreational conditions at Twin Buttes.

The City received an excellence award for the 2014 CAFR.  It should put the same energy toward getting a recreational excellence award at Twin Buttes.

City Parks Director Carl White spoke about Twin Buttes at Council's 10-6-15 meeting.  He said:

"To be honest I don't think we're doing a very good job of managing those properties right now.  It's a little hands off.  We think we need to improve that."
The city should have an extra $450,000 to $470,000 to do just that.

Friday, October 23, 2015

OC Fisher Up Over Four Feet

With floodwaters still miles away in Carlsbad and Grape Creek Lake O. C. Fisher rose four feet. That wipes out this summer's evaporation.  Thank heaven for the blessing.

Update 10-25-15:  O.C. Fisher is now up 6.5 feet at 1877 feet elevation.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

First Soaking Rain

Might it be enough to prime the South Pool for flow into the Equalization Channel? 

Saturday, October 3, 2015

City Council to Consider TPWD Public Hunting Program

Tuesday's City Council meeting will include a presentation on adopting the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department Public Hunting Program for the recreational hunting lands at the Twin Buttes Reservoir properties.  The city has long offered public hunting around Twin Buttes.  TPWD's public hunting program currently lists San Angelo State Park.  It comes with an annual fee:

Access is provided by two types of annual permits: the $48 Annual Public Hunting (APH) Permit which allows full privileges including hunting, fishing, camping, hiking and other recreational uses and the $12 Limited Public Use (LPU) Permit which also provides access for all other recreational activities except hunting.
It's not clear how citizens will pay these fees or how funds will be used to improve primitive conditions at Twin Buttes.

Other than closing Twin Buttes for public fireworks the July 4th weekend this is the first recreation item City Council has considered on Twin Buttes since adopting a Master Recreation Plan.  The plan was created in 2012 and officially approved by council in 2013.

Progress has been slow to nonexistent on the City's Lake Nasworthy and Twin Buttes Master Plans.  Only one vendor bid to develop the Mary Lee Park area of Lake Nasworthy and the city rejected that bid as nonconforming.

Most city action at Twin Buttes since 2012 has been installing and removing pumps. My October water bill still has the "pumping fee" despite pumps having been removed in May of 2014.  I guess it's a perpetual fee.

The City recently played catch up by devoting another $4 million to San Angelo's Performing Arts Coalition, a project that has lingered since 2011.  I've long hoped Council would find the Twin Buttes project ripe for a kick start.  That hope will go on longer given Council materials state "there is no financial impact." Thus, staff recommends City Council stick to its miserly history in funding anything non-water at Twin Buttes.

Update 5-15-16:  City Council approved the TPWD Public Hunting Program in an April meeting.