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Environment
Choctaw Nation expresses interest in taking control of lake


The Choctaw Nation is interested in taking over a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers lake in southeastern Oklahoma.

The Army Corps built Sardis Lake in Choctaw territory. The state was supposed to pay for construction costs and take ownership of the lake but a dispute led to a federal court lawsuit.

A settlement requires the state to continue making payments on the lake. That's where the tribe comes in.

"The Choctaws are willing to pay it off,” state Sen. Jerry Ellis (D) told The Oklahoma Gazette. “They are probably the only ones in Southeastern Oklahoma that have the money there to pay it off.”

The tribe isn't the only one interested. Officials in Oklahoma City are also offering to pay off the lake because they want to use the water for the city.

The city said it will pay $27 million that is owed to the Army Corps plus $15 million to reimburse the state for its costs.

Get the Story:
Oklahoma City and Choctaw Nation both want water rights to local lake (The Oklahoma Gazette 5/19)