Power for Progress …
A weekly column from the Grand River Dam Authority
“How has your weekend been?,” asked Grand River Dam Authority Police Officer Tyler Brown as his patrol boat moved slowly past another boat full of occupants enjoying a summer day on Grand Lake.
“It’s going very well,” came the reply, “we’re all having a great time out here.”
During the recent extended July 4 holiday weekend, that was a common conversation on the lakes. As thousands of visitors came to both Grand and Hudson to take advantage of both the weather and water during what is traditionally the busiest time of the year, GRDA officers were doing their jobs, assisting boaters and helping promote safe outings.
Some have even said that the recent holiday weekend was a record-setter for many of the businesses around the lake shore. Whether that proves to be true or not, the reality is that the economic engine created by the 70,000 surface acres of lakes under GRDA’s control was in full operation during the Independence Day festivities.
That engine – which is part of the greater GRDA presence that supports over 4,100 jobs in the state – is fueled by GRDA’s efforts to manage the lakes and care for the ecosystems up and down the Grand River in Oklahoma. Every day, at no cost to Oklahoma taxpayers, several employees and departments are focused on keeping that engine running smoothly. Flood control, habitat and fisheries enhancement, water monitoring, water safety, water patrols and other efforts to protect the public waters and shorelines are among the tasks they are focusing on.
As a result, there are not only more opportunities for a “great time out here” but, more importantly, there are real dollars and cents generated by a thriving tourism and recreation industry that supports a broad tax base along the water’s edge and well into surrounding region … “out here.”
Headquartered in Vinita, GRDA is Oklahoma’s state-owned electric utility; fully funded by revenues from electric and water sales instead of taxes. GRDA’s low-cost, reliable power touches 75 of 77 counties in the state. At no cost to Oklahoma taxpayers, GRDA also manages 70,000 surface acres of lakes in the state, including Grand Lake, Lake Hudson and the W.R. Holway Reservoir. Today, GRDA’s 500 employees continue to produce the same “power for progress” that has benefited the state for 75 years.
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