August 2, 2007
Rep. Cole Votes for Vital Lake Texoma and Waurika Legislation
Debt Forgiveness to Waurika Lake Master Conservancy District
Bill Provides Critical Step to Future Development of Lake Texoma Shoreline
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Congressman Tom Cole (OK-4) voted yesterday to pass the conference report on the Water Resources Development Act of 2007 (WRDA). The WRDA bill includes a provision that will forgive certain debts incurred by the Waurika Lake Master Conservancy District (WLMCD) for construction and upkeep of the District's dam and the corresponding system that provides water for rural, south-central Oklahoma. Additionally, this bill ensures that the ownership rights of over 200 acres along the shore of Lake Texoma is permanently transferred from the federal government to the state of Oklahoma.
"I am very proud that this legislation has passed the House," Congressman Cole said. "I know that the entire delegation has worked together to ensure that important Oklahoma projects were included in the final version of this bill."
"Senator Inhofe and I worked closely to make sure that debt elimination will be provided to the conservancy project to reimburse them for their efforts to provide water resources for rural parts of the district. I am happy that this bill will eliminate the debt they accrued. This vital funding can now be reinvested into Oklahoma communities to help them meet their future water needs."
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has billed the WLMCD for costs that came about during the construction of the Waurika Lake Dam and the water distribution center. The WLMCD includes Comanche, Duncan, Lawton-Ft. Sill, Temple, Walters, and Waurika.
"Congresswoman Fallin and I worked diligently to make sure that Oklahoma is able to retain ownership of this land," Congressman Cole added. "I look forward to seeing all of the economic development that will come out of Lake Texoma and surrounding areas as a result of this change. I am also glad that more job opportunities will be created for residents in Southern Oklahoma."
This legislation will permanently transfer ownership of 227 acres of shoreline along Lake Texoma from the federal government to the state of Oklahoma. Once the state has full ownership of the area, private entities have plans to purchase the land and develop it into a premiere tourist destination. More specifically, there are plans to develop residential neighborhoods as well as a resort hotel and golf course.
The conference report for WRDA legislation passed overwhelmingly through the House yesterday. The Senate will vote on the same conference report later this week before sending the bill to the President to sign it into public law.
Congressman Tom Cole (OK-04)
236 Cannon House Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20515