ADA — Questions of affordability became the centerpiece of discussion involving around Lake Scissortail, a proposed above ground reservoir and dam envisioned by city leaders to supplement the Arbuckle-Simpson Aquifer water supply to the city of Ada.

On hand to give input on the project Monday at City Hall West Annex were members of the city of Ada’s Lake Scissortail Citizens Advisory Committee and C.H. Guernsey and Co., an engineering firm contracted by the city to perform a feasibility study.

Two options offered include a dam and reservoir with one leg of the proposed lake at a cost of $90 million, or a larger dam with two lake areas at a cost of $150 million. The biggest concern raised was whether the Ada area population base is capable of funding a project of this magnitude.

Speculation centered on rural water districts that already contract with the city of Ada that would benefit from purchasing water from this new source, enabling growth to continue in rural areas of the county.

“We need to know if the rural water districts are going to buy and at what rates, and then we can decide if it’s feasible or not,” said Tom Bolitho, area resident and Citizens Advisory Committee member.

Other discussion by committee members focused on the area’s growth and what impact that might have on funding the project. Data compiled by the Oklahoma Department of Commerce estimates the city may experience a population growth to approximately 18,000 by the year 2030, an increase of nearly 14 percent from its current 15,691.

Current estimates show Pontotoc County is expected to see an increase of 5,000 residents by 2030 from its current 35,143.

Data presented by Mike Mathis, Oklahoma Water Resources Board, concerning rainfall trends for the area over the last 80 years indicate the last 20 years have been relatively wet. According to Mathis, this could imply Oklahoma is now entering a 20-year cycle of dry weather. “This may mean the amount of ground water available during a dry cycle would be subject to a very restrictive management scheme,” Mathis said.

Larry Roach of C.H. Guernsey said at the next Citizens Advisory Committee meeting his group expects to present financing projections based on conservative, middle of the road and aggressive growth patterns for the community.