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McMillan Dam denied grant money after decades without repair

Updated: Jun. 11, 2021 at 6:34 PM CDT
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LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - The McMillan Dam containing Buffalo Springs Lake has been deemed at high-risk by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality for over a decade.

Recent efforts from Ransom Canyon and Buffalo Springs to fund and maintain the dam have failed.

Last fall, leaders in Ransom Canyon and Buffalo Springs have applied for a federal grant designed to mitigate flooding after Hurricane Harvey.

Ransom Canyon City Manager Elena Quintanilla said the $10 million grant would pay to clear trees along both sides of the dam and fund an engineering study.

“It would allow us to handle a pretty extensive engineering study, because there’s a lot of areas that we cannot just see right off the bat from just eyeballing the situation. So engineers would need to do a more extensive feasibility study to see where the problems are occurring,” Quintanilla said.

It is unlikely that the barrier will break, but the manager of Buffalo Springs says trees along the dam are growing roots, which are slowly deteriorating the dam.

“There is some rehabilitation that needs to happen when infrastructure is that deteriorated at some point. It’s not that the dam is going to collapse any day now, but it’s to a point where there’s some rehabilitation necessary to help maintain that dam,” Quintanilla said.

Quintanilla said she is working in partnership with Buffalo Springs and actively searching for other grants.

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