Development of Valco Property Taking Shape

Raising the Berm Around Valco Lake

Motorists crossing the Arkansas River have noticed increased excavation work at the Valco property to the east, along the banks of the river and at the base of the bridge.

Tom Brubaker, owner and manager of Valco is donating the land to the city, approximately 108 acres. He offered a brief outline of the work that has been done at the site and the work that has yet to be completed before the state Division of Reclamation signs off on the project and the property is transferred to the city.

“The backsloping on the pits will be done by the end of March and the only thing left to do after that will be the re-seeding,” he explained. Until recently, there were four pits on the property, running parallel to the river on the southern side. One of the pits, the number two pit and the smallest of the four has been filled in.

The construction work at the base of the bridge serves two purposes to comply with the reclamation plan. Brubaker said one part is getting the slopes correct and the other is reducing the lake’s surface. He explained that the smaller surface area of the lake will mean less water than has to be put back by the city from evaporation. The bridges base is being protected by rip rap and berms and an environmental mesh that will be held in place by the rocks, and will serve to even the flow of water when those levels are high. That work is being done at the northwest corner of the lake. Blue draining pipes are visible along the eastern banks of the lake. They connect to a system of pipes that run the water to the river. The banks of the pits are being excavated to a three foot to one foot ratio which will allow visitors safer and easier access to and from the water. The different water levels developing in the lake over the past few weeks are easily visible. That lake is separated from the river by the berms and will find it’s natural depth according to the water table in the area. The scope of the berms will decide the surface area of the lake.

Brubaker explained the Bureau of Reclamation has a window of about from three to five years for the project to establish the best vegetation that will serve the area, slated to become a public park for area residents. The city will take possession of the area once the acreage has been planted. “By mid summer, the city should be in possession of the property,” Brubaker explained. He added, “The city will have full obligation to maintain the vegetation until full release.”

Some of the ponds were stocked with fish last year. At this time the city hasn’t offered any definite plans on how the park area will be developed for the public. Although the donation of the property to the city can be considered a windfall, it will still take funding to develop the area with some basic amenities for visitors. That process will probably be conducted in stages over the next several years.  Mayor Roger Stagner said the Lamar Rotary Group approached the city several months ago, requesting ideas about  community oriented projects that the organization could contribute to Lamar.

Pumps Lowering the Water in Valco Lake

By Russ Baldwin


Filed Under: BusinessCitycommunityEconomyEntertainmentFeaturedLamarPublic SafetyRecreationSportsTourismYouth


About the Author:

RSSComments (0)

Trackback URL

Comments are closed.