By Brian Bearden, TSB Contributor
In an effort to ensure more water for McKinney and North Texas, Congressman Ralph Hall sponsored a bill and has pushed it through Congress by one vote already this week.
Hall’s H.R. 6007, the North Texas Zebra Mussel Barrier Act of 2012, allows the North Texas Municipal Water District to pump water from Lake Texoma straight into the Wylie, Texas, Water Treatment Plant. At Wylie, the water can be cleaned of zebra mussels without being in violation of the Lacey Act.
On the House Floor, Rep. Hall stated, “North Texas has a serious problem with an invasive aquatic species called the zebra mussel. Zebra mussels will attach to just about anything – they infest and cover rocks, attach to boats and docks, and clog water pipelines. North Texas has a unique situation due to a Texas/Oklahoma boundary change that requires a Congressional solution. You know you hear people say, ‘It would take an act of Congress’ to get something accomplished – well, this is what we’re doing today.”
When zebra mussels appeared in Lake Texoma in 2009, use of the water pump station was effectively banned due to the Lacey Act – a bill that prohibits the transfer of zebra mussels across state lines. The North Texas Municipal Water District generally receives 28 percent of its water supply from Lake Texoma.
“H.R. 6007 will enable the Water District to resume pumping water to better serve more than 1.5 million users and do so in a manner that provides safe water in the tradition of its 20-year history,” Hall said. “This bill will allow the Texoma Water Pump to reopen, provide much-needed jobs, and provide enough clean water to the community during a season of severe drought – when water is desperately needed.”
Hall said, “This is a common-sense solution, a necessary solution, and one that helps restore North Texas’s water supply.”
AROUND MCKINNEY …
Neighborhoods: Courtyards are now allowed in front of homes in the Village Park North residential development at McKinney Ranch Pkwy. and Lake Forest Dr., after a rezoning request was passed by the McKinney city council last week.
Saving city money: The city will combine two projects to save money, and the city council approved a resolution authorizing contract amendments for the Guaranteed Maximum Prices with Dean Construction, Inc. This is for the Gabe Nesbitt Community Park construction for the Skatepark and the two-field baseball projects.
McKinney Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) will soon have a new president. … Hank’s Texas Grill and the city continued to have issues over the weekend. (see TSB story from last week for more on that.) … Construction has started at Gateway on the Emerson Process Management headquarters. … Progress is being made on the Traxxas headquarters facility in Craig Ranch. … MPAC hosts the Four Funny Females at 8 p.m. Sept. 22. … The McKinney Youth Theatre production of “Disney’s Alice in Wonderland Jr.” played to sold-out crowds on opening weekend and runs through Sept. 15 at the Plano Children’s Theatre with shows at 7:15 p.m. at 1301 Custer Road and 15th Street. Later this month, the youth theatre will put on “Legally Blonde.”
Mosquito spraying: The city sprayed Aqualeur 20/20, a synthetic compound similar to a chemical that occurs naturally in Chrysanthemums, Monday as a mosquito control measure to combat West Nile Virus. Spraying resumes at 10 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday as crews will spray an area east of Custer Road, south of Eldorado, west of U.S. 75, and north of the Sam Rayburn Tollway.
Road work: The northbound U.S. 75 exit at Eldorado Parkway is open again. The exit is the first step in the project to widen U.S. 75 from White Avenue down to the Sam Rayburn Tollway (SRT). The widening project will eventually give drivers four lanes on U.S. 75 in each direction along with frontrage roads. This work will go on through March 2015.
What about the exit from SRT to 75? The exit from northbound SRT to northbound U.S. 75 at Eldorado Parkway will open soon, according to TxDOT although no date has been set.
Bonnie Wenk Park: The city council approved a request by the Parks, Recreation and Open Space Department to use approximately 476 square feet of land located within public land (Bonnie Wenk Park) for the construction of a shared drive and fire lane. City staff reports this drive approach will mutually benefit the Bonnie Wenk Park as well as the adjacent property owner.
Politics: County Democrats are gearing up for a voter registration drive for high school seniors and will be offering a training session from 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesday at 6901 Coit Road in Frisco. On Wednesday night, Democrats will be holding an Obama phone bank in Plano. … The fiesty McKinney tea party is back in session at Cottonwood Creek Baptist across the SRT at 7 p.m. Tuesday. … The countywide Lincoln Society will be briefed by Candy Noble on what it was like to be at the Republican convention. The Lincoln Society is open to the public and meets at noon at Mimi’s Cafe on McDermott and U.S. 75. … The Democrat group “Drink Liberally” meets from 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the Rugby House on Preston Road.
Dove hunting: The fall season in the McKinney area in Texas’ North Zone runs Sept. 1 through Oct. 24.