By Ross Adkins
In a ceremony held at Lake Texoma recently, a commemorative document celebrating the transfer of 600 acres of Lake Texoma shoreline to the City of Denison, TX ., was signed by Congressman Ralph Hall Texas 4th District, Jared Johnson, Mayor, City of Denison, Brig. Gen. Thomas Kula and Developer George Schuler.
The federal Water Resources Development Act of 2007 authorized the Secretary of the Army to sell land for improvement projects that provide for the development of water related resources.
But the transfer didn't come quickly. Congressman Ralph Hall, Texas 4th District, addressing the crowd who were there to witness the signing said, "I can finish my remarks with one word. Finally! It took twelve years, but it is finally done."
The city of Denison paid $1.8 million for the acreage which includes nearly nine miles of shoreline. The city will in turn sell most of the property to Schuler Development who intends to invest $215 million in infrastructure including restaurants, shops and homes.
"When you look at the big scope of this project, the impact is larger than anything that's ever been done in the state," said Denison Mayor Jared Johnson.
During the 12 years of development, Col. Michael Teague, Tulsa District Commander of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers said "Before the sale could go through, we looked at everything from archeological and cultural resources to endangered species to any wetlands." Teague was referring to the Environmental Impact Statement, paid for by the City of Denison.
"We've had other land conveyances that we've done with the Corps of Engineers, but nothing to this magnitude. I think it just shows how much the federal government is looking to move more towards public-private partnerships in the future," Teague added.
"It's been a great partnership that allowed this to occur," said Brig. Gen. Tom Kula, who is the commander of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Southwestern Division.