Cities tell feds to lower Lake Bardwell bill
JOEY G. DAUBEN
The Ellis County Press
ENNIS – To get water for residents, both Waxahachie and Ennis must negotiate through the federal government’s ownership of Lake Bardwell.
To pay for yearly Lake Bardwell maintenance costs, both cities must negotiate with the Army Corps of Engineers to lower what the $787 billion federal stimulus package from 2008 has done: increased the cities shared costs to $1 million and more.
Already, the cities of Ennis and Waxahachie, according to the Ennis Daily News, are attempting to lobby Congressman Joe Barton, R-Ennis, and the Corps of Engineers to contain the skyrocketing costs of maintaining Lake Bardwell.
The man-made lake is patrolled and maintained by the Corps of Engineers, but is partially subsidized by Ennis and Waxahachie taxpayers for water.
Why? For a lake that is located solely within Ellis County to be manned by the federal government, its not a surprise then that federal stimulus cash is being used to artificially inflate the price by millions.
At first, according to the Ennis Daily News Sunday, Jan. 24 issue, the federal government wanted a pedal-to-the-floor increase well into the millions.
At the time, Ennis and Waxahachie, both of which benefit by Lake Bardwell as a source of some, if not all, of their municipal water needs, were paying under $500,000 a year for shared maintenance costs and capital improvements.
The feds asked them to eat up the rest at the tune of at least $1 million. Thats when the cities balked, but due to all of the strings coming with that money, Ennis and Waxahachie are being mandated to do all sorts of things.
Ron Paul said it best (paraphrasing), "when one gets in bed with the [federal] government, one should not be surprised at the disease it spreads."
Lake Bardwell is an Ellis County lake. The cities cannot simply say "take a hike" due to all of the mandates that come with the "free" money.
"The Corps did not solicit our input and did not give us a chance to participate, but now they are sending us a bill for $1.4 million," said Waxahachie Councilman John Wray.
"I have been told the bill to Ennis is approximately $2 million.
‘Corsicana is going through the same thing with Navarro Mills Lake and Corsicana is supposedly getting a bill for $3.6 million.
"This is an example of how the stimulus money is poorly administered and conceived."