A month ago I told you that we needed to change the amount of water dumped out of the Toledo Bend for generating electricity. You’ve experienced the result of dropping the lake below 168msl. Even with the drought, the lake could still be used for recreational purposes if not drawn down below 168msl. People on and around the lake are telling me that they are leaving, selling out because of the low water levels over the past several years. The fact that the majority of fishing tournaments have moved to other lakes, plus the many thousands of people not coming to the lake has a significant impact on our local economies.
In the last letter I asked you to contact your local, state and Federal Legislators and tell them how the low lake level has affected you. Did you do that? No, you did not. Do you really expect someone else is going to look after your interest and incomes?
If we don’t get our politicians involved and construct a law, the same as or comparable with the law in Louisiana by 2008 we all might as well move if we have an interest in the lake for recreational activities.
The Sabine River Authority of Texas does not intend to consider anything but the monies obtained by water sales. They are taking the water we own for their profits. They don’t get any monies for recreation so they don’t care. They give small amounts of money to local projects to stay on the good side of local politicians. Yes, although they usually have approximately $ 30,000,000 dollars in reserve, they have not paid off the bonds on the money borrowed to build the dam. This is a small dam compared to dams across the nation, yet the annual salary paid to the director is $ 160,000 per year and $ 125,000 to the assistance director. How many of you make that kind of money? Yet, most of you work much harder.
Come to the Bi-State Alliance meeting, Monday February 27 at 6:30 in the J. R. Huffman Public Library in Hemphill to learn how you can participate. We hope to have Gene Nethery and one other candidate present and talk to us about the lake level problems and what they plan to do about it.
Remember, the dam and the lake were built, and the Sabine River Authority was established to benefit the people of Texas and Louisiana and not just to benefit the Sabine River Authority.
Come on, let’s get together and get a law in Texas to stop water sales after the lake is pulled down to 168msl. Together we can do it.
Power generation provides about $2.5 million dollars to each of the SRA’s. A total of $ 5 million each year. Recreation provides close to the $ 40 million per year according to a survey conducted by Texas A & M. which provides the greatest benefit to we the people of East Texas and Louisiana. $ 40 million to our tax base and local economy or $ 5 million to the budget of the SRA’s?
God bless each and everyone one of you.
Donald P. Driscoll, co-chairman,
Toledo Bend Bi-State Alliance