Lubbock's possible Lake 7 draws criticism from landowner - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

Lubbock's possible Lake 7 draws criticism from landowner

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Brice Chapman, owns land in the area for proposed Lake 7 Brice Chapman, owns land in the area for proposed Lake 7

By James Clark - email

LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) – In the coming years, Lubbock could well have a brand new lake just outside the East Loop.  But the proposed Lake 7 has stirred up some controversy.

Lake 7 would run from the 58 hundred block of the East Loop all the way out to the start of Buffalo Springs Lake.  The city is conducting a feasibility study to see if Lake 7 would work as a tap water supply.

But there are folks who own land down in the proposed lake bottom; one of them is Brice Chapman.   He says part of his land would be underwater and he says other landowners would have it worse.

Chapman says his biggest complaint is that he feels like the city has left him in the high & dry on the fate of his property.

"I mean, I'm not against the water, getting water to the general public," says Chapman.  "That's not what I mean.  I don't want to say, 'hey, y'all starve out there or y'all die of thirst.'  That's not what I'm saying." 

But he has a bone to pick with City Hall.  "They've been disrespectful from the beginning."

Like so many West Texas landowners, Chapman is fiercely independent.  "If it involves my property or my livelihood, then they should have contacted me."

Lubbock's Director of Water Utilities says there's a reason that up until now there has been limited contact with landowners.

"Just recently, just in the last year we've decided to go ahead and take another step toward Lake #7," Spear says.  "Up until now it's just been concept."

Spear says while it was just a concept there was no reason to contact landowners in the canyon east of Lubbock.  Now that city leaders are getting serious about exploring Lake 7's potential, Spear says the city will communicate more aggressively with those who might be affected.

Even at that, Spear says this is by no means a done deal.  "There's not a yes or no yet on Lake 7."

Spear says Lake Alan Henry will provide water starting in the summer of 2012 and so that gives Lubbock a chance to take its time with Lake 7.  The most important question according to Spear is the "geotechnical issues."  In simple terms, will Lake 7 hold water or would it leak?

If constructed, Lake #7 would cost an estimated $68 million.  Official documents say it would cost water customers $1.38 per thousand gallons. 

Copyright 2011 KCBD NewsChannel 11. All rights reserved.

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