ENID, Okla. —
Timm said the city’s water issues are driven more by drought than any other factor, and people will have to begin to change the way they look at water resources.
“I think having this water is a luxury we’ve always had,” Timm said. “It’s a luxury to just expect that water will be there when you turn on the tap. Everyone’s just used to walking up to a hydrant and turning it on. It’s a serious issue that needs to be addressed everywhere.”
Timm said he’s in favor of “drilling more wells, or doing whatever it takes to get this water situation under control before it’s too late.”
He said building a city lake or reservoir during a drought probably would not be a good investment.
“Counting on lakes and things like that right now is probably a bad option,” Timm said. “The way lakes work, you have to have rain.”
Question: Should attracting new industry and supplying current commercial users be a priority for the city’s water resources?
“We need to look at attracting industry that doesn’t use so much water,” Kaufman said. “The new canola plant will use 500,000 gallons per day. For 50 jobs, 500,000 gallons a day, I don’t think that was a good deal.”
“I would think that would be a big concern,” Timm said, regarding using water resources to attract new industry.
“We would sure have to work out how much water they’re going to use before we brought anything in. I don’t want to turn down industry, but we do need to make sure the citizens have water also.”
Enid Renaissance Project
In 2010, Enid voters rejected by a vote of 4,023-3,892 a $20 million bond issue for the Gateway Enid project. The city had committed to add an additional $20 million to the project.
The city opted in 2011 to go ahead with renovation of Convention Hall and construction of the new Enid Event Center, with the “brick-and-mortar” expenses to be covered by the city’s $20 million share of the original Gateway plan.
Convention Hall was reopened to the public in November after completion of a more than $7 million renovation contract. Enid Event Center is nearing completion, with a contract and change orders that now have topped $18 million.