Category: Earthen Dams
Earthen dams in Dallas area, across Texas need costly repairs
U.S. built many, then turned over control to local sponsors
Sunday, March 9, 2008
By ROY APPLETON / The Dallas Morning News
After years of decay and dispute, the dam near Marvin and Renetta Wilson's home is back in shape.
A publicly funded repair has erased 11 years of slumps and slides and returned the 39-foot-high earthen mound to its original state at a private lake in northwest Collin County.
The almost $578,000 project has stabilized the dam and assuaged the Wilsons, who long have called it a safety threat and an eyesore – and who joined neighbors in suing Collin County to restore or remove the structure.
But the one-time fix leaves unsettled the multimillion-dollar question of who will pay for future repairs and improvements to the dam near Celina and to hundreds of others aging across Texas.
"I don't know," said Steve Bednarz, who oversees Texas watershed programs for the federal Natural Resources Conservation Service. "That's a good question."
The federal government has built almost 2,000 of the dams in Texas (about 11,000 nationwide) in the past 50-plus years to help control flooding and reduce soil erosion. Dallas and its six surrounding counties have 316 of them, including 99 in Collin County and 85 in Ellis County.
FLOOD-CONTROL DAMS IN THE DALLAS AREA
|ESTIMATED UPGRADE COST**|
SOURCE: Natural Resources Conservation Service (DMN)
**(in millions of dollars) The federal government is to pay 65 percent of the total and local governments 35 percent.
See previous post - MCG - County to fix couple’s dam if they agree to drop lawsuit October 24, 2007
County to fix couple’s dam if they agree to drop lawsuit
By Brandi Hart, McKinney Courier-Gazette
Wednesday, October 24, 2007
Marvin and Renetta Wilson may get a dam repaired on their property after Collin County commissioners voted unanimously Tuesday to repair the dam if the couple dismisses a lawsuit against the county.
The Wilsons filed a lawsuit in 2005 against the county and the Collin County Soil and Water Conservation District because they have tried for 11 years to get commissioners to address the Little Elm 18A dam located on the 18.56 acres on Preston Road, about 1.5 miles north of Celina, Renetta Wilson said. The couple chose to file the lawsuit after U.S. Rep. Ralph Hall, R-Rockwall, helped get federal funding to repair the dam, but the commissioners would not support repairing the dam after the funding was secured, she said.
“There are several issues with the dam. We have it fenced off so our horses don’t walk near the area and get stuck in the mud and quicksand. We’ve asked the county to spray for mosquitoes around the dam as there is standing water there that attract mosquitoes, but they sent a letter about two years ago saying it was our responsibility,” Marvin Wilson said.
The plaintiff’s first amended petition, which was filed July 3 of this year, also lists Jesse Kirk, Milo Kirk, Guy Gibbs, Lori Gibbs, and Bill and Sybil Stearns as plaintiffs in the case.
If the court’s offer to repair the dam is accepted by the National Resource Conservation Service, then the county and the NRCS will share the cost to repair the dam, which will be about $1.2 million to $1.3 million, upon the condition that the Wilsons agree to dismiss their lawsuit against the county. The court unanimously made the motion after it met in a one-hour and 45-minute long closed session about the lawsuit and personnel issues.