Both sides of Texarkana meet to discuss Airport updates and water rights

Mark Mellinger, Texarkana Regional Airport Director, spoke about improvements to The Texarkana Regional Airport (photo by Erin Rogers)

A joint Texarkana Community Committee meeting was held Tuesday evening,
April 11th at the Ark-Tex Council of Governments to further discuss the cities’ water issues and updates for Texarkana Regional Airport.

The panel was comprised of Texarkana, Texas, Mayor Bob Bruggeman, Willie J. Ray and Christy Paddock of Texas-side city council, Texarkana, Arkansas, Mayor Ruth Penney-Bell, and Travis Odom and Tim Johnson, members of the Arkansas-side Board of Directors.

President of the Texarkana USA Chamber of Commerce, Mike Malone facilitated the meeting, where the primary focus was the common challenges both cities face with Texarkana’s water issues.

Mark Mellinger, Texarkana Regional Airport Director, spoke about improvements to The Texarkana Regional Airport and how they are securing finances to build an additional terminal and taxiway.

Mellinger spoke with the regional director of the federal Economic Development Agency and secured sufficient funds from their organization as well as from the Federal Aviation Administration to complete financing for the expansion.

The topic of Texarkana’s water was presented by J.D. Phillips, Director of Texarkana Water Utilities and by Elizabeth Fazio Hale, CEO of the Riverbend Water Resources District.

Phillips discussed in detail the two main sources of our water-Wright Patman Lake and Millwood Lake- and how that water is treated, stored, transported, and maintained.

Hale spoke about efforts made by the Riverbend Water Resources District to protect and develop those resources so the community can preserve water rights and interests.

“What is really important… is that if we don’t develop it, someone else will.”

The Texarkana Community Committee is an enterprise created by the Texarkana USA Chamber of Commerce. The committee serves as a forum for discussion and is open to the public.

The next meeting will be held August 8th to discuss expanding broadband internet to Texarkana, Arkansas and Texarkana, Texas.

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