Council supports Riverbend’s role in controlling future water resources

By John Dilmore

The Atlanta City Council on Monday approved a resolution supporting the role of Riverbend Water Resources District in controlling and protecting new water resources developed for this area from Wright Patman Lake.
The City of Texarkana, acting on behalf of other area cities and water customers, is currently permitted for 180,000 acre feet of water. An acre foot is approximately 365,000 gallons.
Riverbend, which represents 12 area municipalities -- including Atlanta -- and three area counties, wants to speak for resources that become available over and above that.
Liz Fazio-Hale, Riverbend’s executive director, said, “What we’re asking is if there is additional water, that water right be held by Riverbend, on behalf of Riverbend’s members including the City of Atlanta.”
Fazio-Hale had earlier told the council her organization is working for protection and development of water resources “for our benefit,” emphasizing the group’s dedication to the interests of the regional entities it represents.
City Manager David Cockrell added, “One of the things that’s so critically important is that Riverbend wants to be the voice of any additional -- above and beyond today’s -- as opposed to the Sulfur River Basin Authority. Riverbend, which you’re a part of … wants to be the entity that’s seen as the controlling factor, as opposed to an agency that quite frankly works directly for the Dallas Metroplex.”
The council passed the resolution unanimously.
In other action, the council:
-Approved changing the meeting times for regular city council meetings to 5:30 p.m. on the first and third Mondays of the month, as opposed to 6 p.m., effective June 19.
-Awarded a bid in the amount of $11,150 to Henry’s Siding for 18 new windows and a “handicap entrance door” at the Atlanta Public Library.
-Approved roughly $500,000 in budget amendments.
-Saw council members Randy Pennington, Arlie Kyzer and Dean McDuff sworn in for new terms.

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