It’s going to be a busy week for the Marvin Nichols Reservoir proposal. The Texas Water Development Board is in the process of resolving a conflict between two regional planning groups over the idea. The Northeast Texas group doesn’t want there to be a new, 70,000 acre lake along the Sulphur River north of Mount Pleasant. The North Texas group is in favor of the proposal.
That North Texas group is meeting today in Grand Prairie. It’s not a public forum on Marvin Nichols – it’s a regularly scheduled planning meeting, but it’s open to the public and Marvin Nichols will surely be part of today’s discussions.
Meanwhile, down in Austin, the Texas Water Development Board is expected to make an announcement on the topic. Understanding the nature of the announcement requires knowing a little bit about how the agency is governed. The name of the agency is slightly confusing, because it’s a governmental entity with a three-person governing board. So, the board has a board. This three-person body will be the group that will decide whether the Marvin Nichols Reservoir goes in the state plan.
The agency also has an executive administrator who manages the daily functioning of the agency - Kevin Patteson. Recently, Patteson issued a preliminary recommendation to the board in favor of the Marvin Nichols Reservoir. Following that preliminary recommendation, the agency opened a public commentary period that included two public forums on the issue – one in Mt Pleasant and one in Arlington. The public comment period closed at the end of April.
Early this week – today or tomorrow – Patteson is expected to release his final recommendation to the three-person board. After that, the board will have to make its final decision. The board has no timeline for doing so, however, an agency spokesperson has said it’s likely that the board will publish its decision during the latter part of this summer.