In May of 2014, the Southwest Oklahoma Water Action Plan identified the reservoir rehabilitation as a recommended action to enhance the existing water supply.
The city of Altus owns 36 acres along the northern edge of the reservoir, and 27 acres along the southern edge.
The city of Altus has sent out a request for qualifications (RFQ) to 11 different professional design firms all over the United States. The request is to perform a feasibility study and preliminary design for the reservoir rehabilitation and development. Another option could be to involve the University of Oklahoma School of Engineering, Environmental Sciences and Architecture on the project. OU has a capstone program that will allow the city to have access to cutting edge engineering and design resources.
The city reservoir project team met in December 2015 to discuss the RFQ. Members of the team are Mayor Jack Smiley, Assistant City Manager Matt Wojnowski, council members Dewayne Martin, Chris Riffle, and city staff Johnny Barron, Barbara Burleson, Dennis Murphy, Chad Osborne, and Chuck Butchee.
Team leader Barron said, “There are two key purposes for the project. First and most important is to restore the reservoir for a secondary water source for the water plant. That would involve replacing the Lugart water with the Tom Steed water. Both are drinkable, but the Tom Steed water is cleaner and cheaper. We also want to increase the capacity to give us the most amount of storage, and the most drought preparedness that we can achieve. The second purpose would be to develop the land around the reservoir as a gathering place and an amenity with lots of attractions that people would like to go to. This would also include water use amenities such as boating, swimming, and the possibly of water slides and other attractions such as climbing walls, bike trails, and splash pads. That is a much more involved process that could take years to do, but those are the two key avenues that we are looking at as a project team.”
The city has applied for a rural community development initiative grant to provide funding. This grant is to help non-profit housing and community development organizations support housing, community facilities, and community and economic development projects in rural areas.
Reach Mary O. Esparza at 580-482-1221 ext.2077