WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL)— Some Wichita Falls residents are not in favor of negotiations between the city and a new hydrogen power plant in Wilbarger County. Steve Smith, who serves on the water resources committee, said he and others believe the city tried to secretly approve the sale of water from Lake Kemp without letting residents know.

“This is an agreement that has been being negotiated by the city for many, many months. But they weren’t making the public aware of this. They tried to pass it. They tried to bring it up at the last council meeting. And there was enough opposition there that they pulled it off of the agenda,” Smith said.

City of Wichita Falls utility operations manager Daniel Nix said, “The Water Resources Committee was briefed this week on the OPS contract and they were not consulted during the contract negotiations because that is beyond the purpose that they were created for.”

Nix continued, “They were created in the late 1990s to act as an advisory committee to the city council and city staff on what the creation of the water conservation plan not to help negotiate contracts for water sales.”

Lake Kemp is one of the backup water supplies for Wichita Falls. Smith said that as a business owner, some are worried since they almost had to shut down during the last drought and he believes they could lose their water supply to the plant.

“Of course, everyone remembers ten years ago the drought that we were in here in Wichita Falls because we lost businesses and our population,” Smith said. “We’re the only city in the state of Texas with over 100,000 population that actually lost population during the last census, and I believe a big portion of that loss was because of the drought, ” Smith said.

Daniel Nix also said during that drought, the plant didn’t touch residents’ water. “The droughts in the nineties and the last drought from 2011 to 2015, they were using their allotted amount of water from the 20,000-acre feet”

For more information click the following link at the bottom of our page. http://wichitafallstx.gov/DocumentCenter/View/41399/OPS-Water-Contract-Answers