City Leaders Making Plans for the Future

Wichita Falls city leaders have some big improvement plans for the city.  Officials are busy planning future projects and some they already have lined up.  They met on Wednesday in a special session to hammer it all out.

Many issues and projects were discussed but what stood out was the city's drainage master plan and the Wichita River.  Both have a lot of upcoming tasks in the near future.  It will affect a lot of people and cost millions of dollars in funding.

Currently the Public Works Department has 65 identified projects in need of drainage construction, dubbed as the Drainage Master Plan.

"The purpose of it is that we know we're focusing our drainage dollars where they need to be spent," said Public Works Director Russell Schreiber.

The cost estimate for the top 17 projects totals $37 million.  McNeil Avenue, Quail Creek, Cherokee's intersection with Hamilton are on the list.  The most expensive area costing $5.5 million is Kemp and Monroe.

"The problem with the area is there is not a lot of storm drainage system in that area and the small cover under Kell is restricting the flow and causing the water to pack up under the area," said Schreiber.

The city will pay for the construction of those streets with the storm water utility fee, that was raised last year.

Also on the Public Works agenda is further informing the council about the USGS survey that came out last December when it stated the cause of the '07 flooding was because of vegetation.

"Had 90 percent of that vegetation been removed almost three fourths of the area that flooded in '07 would not have flooded if the vegetation was gone."

Seven hundred and fifty acres need to be cleared.  It's a project in the making, one that has the council's full approval.
"We got some good information on that this morning that we can work with and do some planning later on," said Wichita Falls Mayor Glenn Barham.

The meeting will continue where it left off Thursday morning.