July 29, 2008

Dothan Mayor to Represent City in Reservoir Meetings

By Debbie Ingram, Dothan Eagle, Ala.

Jul. 29--As a region, the Wiregrass is expected to drink from the same source. And that may be the key in obtaining a new water source.

Dothan City Commissioners authorized the mayor to attend meetings and enter into a joint venture to develop new sources of water for the future.

The group, to consist of mayors and other public officials from various entities, will work to develop both short-term and long-term water sources, including a regional reservoir north of Wicksburg, and a proposal for direct withdrawal from the Choctawhatchee River.

Officials noted that the projects cannot be done without state and federal dollars.

"Doing it regionally, we have a much better chance of getting these dollars," City Manager Mike West said. "We have been told it will give us a leg up on others competing for that money."

Mayor Pat Thomas said various communities are taking up the same resolution. Earlier this month, the city of Geneva voted not to enter into an agreement due to environmental and other concerns.

Thomas will give an update at the Aug. 12 city commission meeting, on talks with the Choctawhatchee, Yellow and Pea Rivers Watershed Management Authority and others.

"You are authorizing me to develop plans and documents to bring back for approval," Thomas said.


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