Despite one council member calling it “useless” and saying that she didn’t “want anything to do with this,” the Stephenville City Council approved hiring a company Monday to construct 11 miles of 16-inch “transmission lines” to bring water from Lake Proctor.

“I will be voting no,” council member Cyndi Godwin said. “I don’t want to do this.”

Eight other council members voted otherwise, agreeing to accept Bowles Construction Company’s low bid of $3.129 million to do the work on the often-controversial water project.

Some have complained about the taste of Lake Proctor water and believe that it will harm the taste and quality of the city of Stephenville water.

Others have said it is a necessary step as the city attempts to address future anticipated water needs and that the Lake Proctor water will only be used in case of a shortage in groundwater.

Troy St. Tours of HDR Engineering, a company that aided in selecting the winning bidder, recommended that the council accept Bowles Construction Company’s bid.

Council member Barry Ratliff made the motion to do so, which Mayor Pro-Tem Todd McEvoy seconded.

While Godwin opposed the motion, it passed by a vote of 8-1, as Ratliff, McEvoy, Malcolm Cross, Nancy Hunter, Andrew Johnson, Alan Nash, Mark Murphy, and Mayor Rusty Jergins voted in favor of it.

Altogether, eight contractors submitted bids to construct the 16-inch transmission line. Those bids ranged from Bowles’ bid of $3.129 million to $5.22 million.

Lake Proctor, which is located in Comanche County, is Comanche County’s major recreational attraction. The lake’s surface covers 4,610 acres.

Cross, before voting in favor of accepting Bowles Construction Company’s bid, said he had heard complaints about Lake Proctor “shrinking, getting more shallow” and asked St. Tours if he had seen any studies - or proof - of this happening.

St. Tours said he hadn’t heard or seen anything indicating this.

Also Tuesday, the council:

Received an annual report from Waste Water Treatment Plant Superintendent Johnny Davis, Received a report concerning from the Planning and Zoning Commission concerning the “Future Land Use Map,” Established Feb. 20 as the date for the first public hearing on proposed annexation, Approved a resolution seeking increased funding for the Texas Recreation and Parks Account, Local Park Grant Program, and the Texas State Park System, Approved a resolution approving investment policy, broker/dealers, and investment strategies,and Approved a contract with Erath County for Municipal Court Service.

DOUG MYERS is Managing Editor of the Empire-Tribune. He can be reached at doug.myers@empiretribune.com or (254) 965-3124, ext. 229.