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City may take step toward Lake Wichita dredging

Lake Wichita

Posted on November 20, 2023

Wichita Falls city councilors on Tuesday may take a first small step toward getting the feds to help dredge part of Lake Wichita.

They will consider submitting a request letter to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for the “Section 1135 Continuing Authorities Program,” or CAP. It’s a 75/25 cost share program with the Corps paying up to $10 million toward dredging the shallow, badly-silted lake.

A spokesman for the Corps explained to the city’s Lake Wichita Revitalization Committee in October that if the city’s requests gets approval, there would be no quick turnaround for the 122-year-old lake.

Dr. Tony Clyde said funding would likely not be approved until the 2027 budget.

The $2.5 million required from the city could be a combination of “in kind” and cash.

Lake Wichita was a recreational draw until the 1950s, but in the mid-1990s the Corps reworked Holliday Creek and lowered the spillway on the Lake Wichita dam to alleviate upstream flooding.

That significantly lowered the water level in the lake. Now boating is restricted and fish stocking is not possible.

Cost estimates of dredging without help from the Corps would be about $70 million, which would be prohibitive.

Sending the letter would not obligate the city to the project.

Councilors will also consider buying a tire shredder for $345,562 to replace one at the Transfer Station that no longer works and will consider spending $83,125 to replace ballfield lights at Kiwanis and Lake Wichita parks.


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