Low lake levels force city into stage 3 water restrictions

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The City of Henrietta will go to Stage 3 water restrictions effective Monday, Aug. 20.

City aldermen voted in favor of the more stringent water conservation regulations during Monday’s city council meeting after learning that water levels at Lake Arrowhead have dropped below 45 percent of the reservoirs capacity.

“It’s not because our usage is up, it’s because the lake is low,” said City Administrator Kelley Bloodworth. “We want to compliment the public for their conservation, and we want that to continue.”

Bloodworth said the city water plant is pumping less water now than it did last year. The council chose to delay implementing the restrictions until late August to give the city time to get the word out and to allow residents time to adjust watering schedules.

Residents will be required to follow an even-odd watering schedule. Residents who have even-numbered addresses will be allowed to water on even-numbered days, while odd-numbered addresses must water on odd-numbered days. Residents will not be allowed to water between the hours of 10 a.m. and 6 p.m.

Stage 3 restrictions are mandatory, unlike Stage 2, which is voluntary. Bloodworth said restrictions will be enforced. First time violators will receive a warning. Citations will be issued thereafter.

Henrietta’s water is released from Lake Arrowhead by the City of Wichita Falls and travels up the Little Wichita River, where it is pumped into the city reservoir. Monday, the city requested its third release this year – 484 acre-feet.

Construction is set to begin on the city’s new raw water line, which will aid in pumping water from the river into the reservoir. The City of Henrietta issued a notice to proceed Aug. 9. The contractor hired to install the line has 180 days to complete the project. The raw water line is part of a larger project that includes new clear wells at the city water plant.

The city is waiting on Oncor to relocate an overhead power line before construction on the clear wells can begin.

The city has submitted plans for the replacement of a lift station located on West Omega Street to the Texas Water Development Board, and is awaiting a response from the state.

In other business, the city council approved an election to decide on the sale of beer, wine and liquor inside the city limits of Henrietta. The election will be held Nov. 6, the same date as the general election for county, state and federal offices. The city will hold a separate election with ballots cast at city hall to cut down on the cost of the election

The council held the first of two required public hearing allowing the Henrietta Growth Corporation to provide business assistance to a manufacturer interested in expanding to town.

The council also approved the closure of an alley that runs between the 700 blocks of West Gilbert and West Ikard streets, and began budget talks.

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Pioneer Sentinel

The Pioneer Sentinel is an online newspaper designed to deliver the news of Clay County, Texas, in a concise and community-friendly format.

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