GRDA postponing February 19 documentary premier

Langley – Due to a winter weather forecast for the Grand Lake area on Tuesday, February 19, the Grand River Dam Authority is postponing the premiere event for its new documentary, Our Borrowed Water, scheduled for that evening at the GRDA Ecosystems and Education Center in Langley.

The event will be moved to a later date, which will be made public as soon as it is scheduled.

Two other premiere events are still planned for next week. On Monday, February 25, the documentary will be shown in the Webb Building Auditorium at Northeastern State University in Tahlequah. On Tuesday, February 26, GRDA will show the documentary in the student union (room 510-511) on the University of Arkansas campus. Both events are open to the public and begin at 6:30PM.

GRDA & GLPS Continue Life Jacket Programs

An important partnership, designed to promote life jacket usage for lake visitors, will continue on in 2019.

For several years, the Grand River Dam Authority and the Grand Lake Power Squadron (GLPS) have worked together to distribute free life jackets across the Grand Lake area. In fact, since 2016, GRDA has provided over $20,000 in funding to the GLPS to purchase life jackets. The funding and the partnership have helped to promote life jacket use and even supply life jackets to many of the visitors coming to Grand Lake’s waters each year.

GRDA Community Relations Officer Ed Ferguson (right) presented a $6,000 check to Grand Lake Power Squadron Executive Officer Scott Graves (left) and Commander Kevin Kamrath at the Tulsa Boat Show on Friday, February 1. Funds will be used to support several life jacket distribution programs in the Grand Lake region.

At the Tulsa Boat Sport &Travel Show on Friday, February 1, GRDA presented the GLPS with $6,000 to help fund the program for the coming year and advance its water safety mission.

The GLPS will use the funds to purchase life jackets, which will be distributed to needy recipients at both the Grove Boat Show (March 7 – 10) and the Grand Lake Camp Bandage event scheduled (June 8, 2019). At both events, GLPS volunteers will also provide assistance on proper life jacket sizing. 

Additional life jackets will also be purchased to stock free loaner stations located around the shores of Grand Lake. Stocked with United States Coast Guard (USCG) approved jackets in a variety of sizes, these stations can be a resource for lake visitors who do not arrive with a properly-fitted jacket. The GLPS maintains five loaner stations throughout the lake season at public boat ramps located at Bernice State Park, Wolf Creek Park, Honey Creek State Park, Elk River Landing and Twin Bridges State Park.

The GLPS welcomes the donation of funds or life jackets that can be used in these programs. New or gently used USCG approved life jackets can be dropped by the Grand Lake Visitor Center (9630 US Highway 59, Grove, Oklahoma) to be added to the distribution programs.

“We are proud to partner with the Grand Lake Power Squadron to help provide life jackets to lake area visitors,” said GRDA Chief of Law Enforcement Brian Edwards. “Safe boating always begins with proper life jacket use and we want to do all we can to help make sure those who visit our waters stay safe.”

GLPS is a non-profit boating organization located in Grove, on the shores of Grand Lake. The GLPS is a member of District 30 of the United States Power Squadron.

Headquartered in Vinita, GRDA is Oklahoma’s state-owned electric utility; fully funded by revenues from electric and water sales instead of taxes. GRDA also manages 70,000 surface acres of lake waters in Oklahoma, including Grand Lake, Lake Hudson and the W.R. Holway Reservoir. Each day, GRDA strives to be an “Oklahoma agency of excellence” by focusing on the 5 E’s: electricity, economic development, environmental stewardship, employees and efficiency. 

Across Pensacola Dam: traffic control personnel, signage to be in place during early November project

In order to facilitate a load testing project across Pensacola Dam, the Grand River Dam Authority is reporting that special traffic control signage will be in place across the dam, on selected days in early November.

Drivers traveling Highway 28 across the dam on Friday, November 2; Tuesday, November 6 and Tuesday, November 13 should be aware of special signage and traffic control personnel. Weather permitting, the testing is anticipated to begin at 8:30 am and conclude at 11:30 am on each of those dates. However, a full closure of the roadway will not be necessary.

GRDA asks for the public’s cooperation during this project, so that it can be completed both safely and promptly.

Kimball is new GRDA Chairman

GRDA Board Chairman Tom Kimball.

Vinita – Tom Kimball (Owasso), a founding member of the Owasso Economic Development Authority and 56 year veteran of the retail industry, will lead the Grand River Dam Authority as chairman during the next 12 months.

Kimball assumed the chairman post at the September 18 meeting of the GRDA Board of Directors in Vinita. He succeeds outgoing Chairman Joe Vandevier (Owasso). Jim Richie (Tulsa) will serve as the board’s chair-elect for the next year.

Kimball was first appointed to the GRDA Board by then-Oklahoma Senate President Pro-Tempore Brian Bingman in November 2012. In 2017, he was re-appointed by then-Present Pro Tempore Mike Schulz. Along with his economic development and retail experience, he has been an active member of the board of Spirit Bank since 2005. He is also active in the Grand Lake community and spends a significant amount of time at his lake home each week. Kimball previously served as GRDA Chairman in 2014-15.

Richie is co-founder and chief auctioneer for Kruse Energy & Equipment LLC. He was first appointed to the board in January 2014 by then-Oklahoma Speaker of

GRDA Board Director Jim Richie.

the House T.W. Shannon. Like Kimball, he is also an active member of the Grand Lake community and part-time Grand Lake resident.

“I am pleased that Chairman Kimball accepted the nomination for another term as our board chairman,” said GRDA President/Chief Executive Officer Dan Sullivan. “Tom Kimball is devoted to our employees, our customers and the resources that we manage. His proven leadership and voice on our board is a valuable asset to GRDA.”

GRDA is governed by a seven-member board of directors, comprised of representatives from each GRDA customer class (municipals, electric cooperatives and industrials) as well as the GRDA lakes area. Two at-large representatives also sit on the board. Appointments are made by the Oklahoma Governor (3), Speaker of the Oklahoma House of Representatives and President Pro Tempore of the Oklahoma State Senate. Two other board positions are ex-officio, filled by the general manager of the OAEC and the executive director of the Municipal Electric Systems of Oklahoma (MESO) or by their designees.

Pensacola Dam roadway to be one lane on Sept. 20

Langley – In order to facilitate a project to remove old light poles, the Grand River Dam Authority is reporting that the portion of Highway 28 that crosses over Pensacola Dam will be limited to one lane on Thursday, September 20.

“This is intended to be a one day project, but in order to get it done promptly and safely, traffic will need to be limited to one lane for the duration of the work on Thursday, September 20,” said GRDA Vice President of Corporate Communications Justin Alberty. “We do appreciate the public’s cooperation during this project.”

Alberty added that special signage would be in place, along with traffic control personnel, to help direct traffic safely across the one lane. The work is expected to last from 8AM to 5PM.