Tahlequah Daily Press

Local News

August 10, 2012

Hulbert officials mull water rationing

PEGGS — Hulbert Public Works Authority Superintendent Rick Lee Thursday evening told the city’s mayor and board of trustees the town’s source of water is running low, and rationing may be needed.

The water plant for Hulbert is fed by 14-Mile Creek, which Lee said is “getting pretty low.”

“If we run that out, we’re in trouble,” he said.

The Grand River Dam Authority governs use of 14-Mile Creek through contracts with rural water districts in the area, with Hulbert having priority use of the source.

Lee suggested the board consider voluntary water rationing for customers, and said so far, GRDA has been unresponsive to calls.

“I never did get a response back from anybody that meant anything,” Lee said. “[Rural Water District] 11 just started [using] 14-Mile Creek about 10 days ago. It’s hurting us terribly.”

Mayor Shirley Teague and Trustees Ed Beckham and George Truitt urged Lee to contact the GRDA’s director before making emergency water plans.

Truitt noted the city has faced water shortages in the past and used a fire truck to manually pump water to the plant.

“We’ve been in this situation before,” he said. “As an emergency thing, we have that ‘79 truck out there with a nozzle.The thing is, we shouldn’t have to do that because the GRDA said we have the rights on that water, and the reason we’re even having this discussion is because that water’s getting pretty thin down there because of the drought. What we’re trying to do is make sure we have water available to us, and we don’t want that creek running dry on us.”

Truitt added the city’s water plant intake system is not functioning properly and is exacerbating the situation. Later in the meeting, he made a motion to make application for REAP grant funding through EODD to possibly relocate the water intake system. The board approved.

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