Monte Land, right, presents checks to volunteer fire and EMS departments Saturday. Next to Land is Jim Edmondson and Carl Blacksten, PK West VFD and EMS;
Monte Land, right, presents checks to volunteer fire and EMS departments Saturday. Next to Land is Jim Edmondson and Carl Blacksten, PK West VFD and EMS; David Campbell, Caddo VFD; and Ronnie Ranft, PK East VFD and EMS. Each service received a $500 donation. (Mark Engebretson)
The Possum Kingdom Chamber of Commerce was nearly full Saturday for the Possum Kingdom Lake Association annual meeting. In addition to giving a $500 donation to each of the Possum Kingdom volunteer fire departments and emergency medical services and the Caddo VFD, a number of topics significant to the future of PK Lake were presented. Jay Turner, PKLA board member, told the assembled crowd that once the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission license is surrendered, the 25-foot setback on purchased lots will automatically transfer to the lot owner once paperwork is submitted to the county showing the surrender is complete. "Once that happens, those with money in escrow with title companies will get your money back," he said. Brazos River Authority has said the completion of construction of the controlled outlet conduit at Morris Sheppard Dam, the last hurdle in the surrender process, will be completed by late summer. Once construction is complete, FERC inspectors will revisit the dam for a final inspection. If there are no problems, FERC will move forward with the license surrender. There are also issues with the Federal Emergency Management Agency flood plain maps. Turner said those with property listed in the flood plain but above the 1,000-foot level at PK Lake can make adjustments to eliminate the requirement for flood insurance by a lender. "If property is listed as being in a flood hazard area, the lender will require flood insurance," Turner said.

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He explained that the property owner can send a letter of map amendment to FEMA. "You'll have to hire a surveyor to measure (the elevation of) the slab." Turner explained that it took him about six weeks to get a response. "Present it to the lender and you don't have to have flood insurance," he added. Turner also said he had been in contact with Congressman Mac Thornberry asking for FEMA map revisions. "They're in the process of doing that now," he said. Jim Lattimore, the new president of PKLA, also introduced a pair of speakers who addressed BRA's request to the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality to sell additional water. Lee Ing, formerly with TCEQ who left after 12 years, said the commission will be looking at the application in light of senior water rights holders. "They can look at how often lakes may get low for specific uses," she commented. She also said that TCEQ would look at the request from a viewpoint of whether the policy was appropriate for the people of Texas. Jordan Furnans also talked about the issue. He explained that BRA's request to sell more water included 421,449 acre feet of permanent sales and 670,000 acre feet of interruptible sales. Furnans further explained that the permanent sales would be sold regardless of drought conditions, but the interruptible water sales could be stopped if supplies ran short. "The permit itself specifies 1 million acre feet," he said. "Communicate with our elected officials," said Furnans. "It's very important to let yourself be known. Politicians pay attention to this."