Another step has been made by the Wichita Falls City Councilors as they have approved a recommendation from the 4B Sales Tax Board to help with the revitalization of Lake Wichita.
The Lake Wichita Revitalization Committee has been working hard on this project for the past two years. The committee was in need of a little over $300,000.00 for engineering studies and ports at the lake. The committee was able to secure half of the $300,000.00 and the 4B Sales Tax Board decided to match it with more than $150,000.00 for the engineering study and preparation for the Corp of Engineers 404 permit.
With this approval, it means a few things.
“One of the things that the city continues to do is expand the trail. One of the things that they'd like to do is take that trail out into the lake at some point and back around to Barnett Road," said Chair of the Lake Wichita Revitalization Committee, Stephen Garner.
Also, the excavation of the Lake Wichita bed may take a while.
“One and a half to four years probably. Then the different areas around the lake, the economic development areas, and the recreational areas as the community can afford to do those.
The reason for the revitalization of Lake Wichita isn't just about its history; it's also about the current public and the future public.
“What we've got now is just a mud puddle with no fish and no recreational value at all. The committee pushed forward by a lot of input from the public. We'd like to see something done out here, we'd like to go fishing, we'd like to go jet skiing, we'd like to go kayaking. Just lots of great ideas for recreation," said Garner.
Garner also said that Lake Wichita could be a draw for hundred of people on a weekly basis.
“To come in here and enjoy the lake and more importantly enjoy the economic base here in town. It's a great opportunity to bring some people into town and for the people that live here to really enjoy an additional recreation opportunity," said Garner.
Money from the 4B Sales Tax Board does not affect taxpayers.
The full revitalization project for Lake Wichita is expected to cost somewhere between $35 to $40 million.