News Release from Senator Robert Nichols

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 3, 2010
Contact: Alicia Pierce
(512) 463-0103

ANRA honors legislators for Lake Columbia work

Lufkin — Yesterday the Angelina & Neches River Authority (ANRA) honored Sen. Robert Nichols (R-Jacksonville), Rep. Chuck Hopson (R-Jacksonivlle), and Rep. Jim McReynolds (D-Lufkin) for their work on the proposed Lake Columbia Reservoir.

"These three legislators have shown strong leadership and commitment to help make Lake Columbia a reality," said General Manager Kelley Holcomb. "We felt like it was important to take a break from our board meeting and show these legislators our appreciation."

Last session, all three legislators worked together to help pass important legislation for lake Columbia. Nichols authored S.B. 1360 which removed upcoming deadlines found in the permit for Lake Columbia, and Hopson carried the bill in the House. Hopson authored H.B. 3861 which guarantees the state is allowed to invest in the project, and Nichols carried the bill in the Senate. Both bills had strong support from McReynolds who helped the legislation get final approval.

"These bills removed two significant hurdles for Lake Columbia and allows ANRA to make significant progress on the project," said Nichols. "I appreciate the opportunity to help guarantee a future for Lake Columbia."

Holcomb praised the teamwork of the elected officials. "It's clear to me all three legislators are working together to do what's best for our region," said Holcomb.

The primary purpose of Lake Columbia is water supply. Lake Columbia is not a flood control reservoir nor is it envisioned to have any hydroelectric capabilities.

The lake will be located in the Mud Creek floodplain, primarily in Cherokee County, the northern limits of the lake will extend into Smith County, with the dam located approximately 5 miles southeast of Jacksonville, Texas, (see location map at right). It will be 14 miles in length, 1.5 miles wide; cover 10,133 acres; contain 187,839 acre feet of water; and provide 85,507 acre feet of water per year to water supply customers.

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