Lake Alan Henry pipeline project still in negotiations - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

9/2/09

Lake Alan Henry pipeline project still in negotiations

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By Katie Bauer - bio | email

LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - For about a year and a half the city of Lubbock has been in negotiations with several Garza County private land owners over the Lake Alan Henry pipeline project. Now Mayor Tom Martin says it looks like there is an end in sight.

It's now just a cotton field near the intersection of FM 3431 and FM 1585, but the 160 acres will eventually be the future site of a water treatment plant that will process h2O from Lake Alan Henry, 55 miles away.

"It's set to eventually treat up to 50 million gallons of water a day, but we are first building it to handle 15 million and it can be expanded in future years," said Mayor Tom Martin.   

But before any talk of construction, an agreement must be met between the city of Lubbock and 19 private land owners in Garza County.

"We feel that we are real close to having the agreement ready to go on the pipeline easements, so that we can begin construction in early next year," said Martin.   

An easement is a right to use a person's land for a special purpose, but of course this doesn't come without some kinks.

Easements are sold in rods, which are a little more than 16 feet and at this time the mayor does not want to release how much the land owners want for each rod or how much the city is willing to pay.

A source tells NewsChannel 11 that the city offered the Garza land owners $75 per rod.   But, we're told the counter offer to the city was $242 dollars per rod.   Mayor Martin tells us the city will not pay that much per rod,

But he says discussions have been going on for more than a year and if they aren't able to come to an agreement, than condemning the land is an option.

"It's always a possibility. This is a public works project and the city has the power of eminent domain for public works projects and would prefer not to go through that if we can avoid it and come to an agreement which I think we will," said Martin.

An agreement that Martin thinks will be ready to present to city council next week, one that is needed soon to keep the $250 million project afloat.

If everything goes as planned Mayor Martin says this water will be the water coming out of your tap in May of 2012.

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