By BARBARA GREEN
More than a dozen property owners from around Old Bowie Lake spoke to the Bowie City Council Monday night expressing their concerns about lake dam repairs and the possible draining or lowering of the lake level.
The council chambers and lobby area were filled with approximately 75 people. After nearly two hours of discussion, the council directed the city manager to explore more options and to work closely with the property owners, who suggested forming a committee to work with the city.
The City of Bowie was informed last September about the poor results from an April 3, 2019 inspection of the dam, the first since 1970.
According to the report the dam was found to be “in poor condition in need of extensive maintenance and repairs.” The city was given until Oct. 10 to submit a plan of action including a schedule for work and completion.
In the response letter, City Manager Bert Cunningham provided an estimate of engineering costs which topped $193,500. The inspection report recommends doing extensive engineering studies and those costs did not include any of the work.
The letter states the city cannot afford the cost of engineering, much less the cost of making the dam a safe structure again. He asked Texas Commission on Environmental Quality officials for guidance on options.
Mayor Bill Miller opened the meeting to public comments with 16 people stepping to the podium. The majority of comments urged the council to avoid draining the lake, which would destroy their property values as well as the lake which has been a fixture in Bowie since it opened in 1939. The dam was built in 1936.
Alan Miller gave the opening statement. The local banker is looking at organizing a group of property owners and has met with the city manager about the issue.
Read the full story in the mid-week Bowie News.