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Fannin County Commissioners Court approves resolution to name new reservoir Bois d'Arc Lake
By Allen Rich
Jun 14, 2018
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Fannin County, Texas -- The public outpouring of support for the name Bois d'Arc Lake to given to the 16,000-acre reservoir being built in Fannin County dominated the regular meeting of Fannin County Commissioners Court held Tuesday, June 12, 2018, although the future location of a justice center also generated significant interest.

Several county residents stressed the importance of recognizing the important heritage of the area that the name "bois d'arc" implies, while also adding that the name Bois d'Arc Lake would be advantageous to economic development when compared to the tentative name of North Texas Municipal Lake that was announced at the groundbreaking ceremony.

"Last year, June 20, 2017, we entered into a contract with North Texas Municipal Water District," Fannin County Judge Spanky Carter said. "It was a lengthy process that included negotiating a name proposed by the county for the lake."

Judge Carter stated that his initial response was that the lake should be named after a highly respected former Fannin County Judge, the late Jimmy Doyle. Carter said he believes that the potential name of Lake Jimmy Doyle was at least considered because North Texas Municipal Water District contacted the county judge's office to verify the proper spelling.

Carter told how he asked Mr. Doyle if he would consent to having the lake named after him.

"He said he would be honored," Carter relayed to the large crowd at commissioners court. "It was my understanding that they [NTMWN] would let us name the lake unless the federal government weighed in with a name preference."

Carter admitted to being surprised when the tentative name of North Texas Municipal Lake was announced, but added that he understands the immense pride the water district has in getting the green light to construct the first major reservoir to be built in Texas in the past 30 years. 

The county judge said he received very little feedback on the proposed name for the reservoir until the tentative name of North Texas Municipal Lake was announced.

"Since they've named it North Texas Municipal Lake, hundreds have suggested the name Bois d'Arc Lake," Carter reported.

The county judge added the NTMWD has been great to work with as the $1.6 billion project gets underway.

"They have always told me they wanted to be good neighbors," Carter stated.

The county judge explained that he had contacted Tom Kula, Executive Director of North Texas Municipal Water District, and relayed the disappointment being expressed by residents over the tentative name of the reservoir. Carter asked NTMWD to consider changing the name to Bois d'Arc Lake, which is the consensus of Fannin County, and was informed that the county judge would be on the agenda for the July 26 regular meeting of NTMWD board of directors.

"I feel very confident that we can get the deal done because I think the board will realize how important this is to the people of Fannin County," Carter predicted.

Fannin County Pct. 3 Commissioner Jerry Magness informed the court that Honey Grove City Council and Honey Grove Chamber of Commerce are considering resolutions to support changing the name of the reservoir to Bois d'Arc Lake.

"I think that would make everyone happy," Commissioner Magness remarked.

Fannin County Pct. 4 Commissioner Dean Lackey said that his older constituents were particularly disappointed that the unique heritage of bois d'arc wasn't reflected in the tentative name for the reservoir.

Fannin County Pct. 1 Commissioner Gary Whitlock and Fannin County Pct. 2 Commissioner Stan Barker are also getting feedback that the name of the lake should be changed to Bois d'Arc Lake.

Fannin County Judge-elect Randy Moore thanked residents for speaking up and also thanked the commissioners and county judge for listening.

NTMWD Executive Director Tom Kula addressed Fannin County Commissioners Court.

"It is encouraging to see so much passion coming from the county," Mr. Kula noted.

Kula said the NTMWD board has asked for recommendations from Fannin County and the board is now considering that name.

"The board wants to know that the name brought to us in July has the consensus of the people in Fannin County," stated Kula, "because we know how important this is to Fannin County. We want to get this done right and we want to hear from Fannin County."

Fannin County Commissioners Court unanimously approved a resolution to name the reservoir Bois d'Arc Lake.


Two possible sites for the proposed justice center were discussed. Allen Sanderson, Fannin Bank VP, suggested that the proper location could contribute to the revitalization of downtown Bonham.

"Our bank has made a substantial commitment to downtown," Mr. Sanderson noted. "I know we are going to be discussing a justice center and I feel the justice center needs to be in the downtown area.  We have ample parking. Most tourism will occur on weekends and I don't think parking will be an issue. Building a justice center on the vacant lot where JC Penney was located -- that would complete our square."

John Coniglio, owner of the three-story building on the northeast corner of the square formerly known as Mary's Boutique, offered to negotiate with the county for the purchase of the 15,000-sq.ft. building.


Gabe Parker told commissioners court that Lake Fannin Volunteers were building funds to be used for the opening of Lake Fannin and that a concert will be held a week from Saturday.


Bob Self gave an update on the condition of Mavis Duncan and said get well cards could be sent to Mavis Duncan, 317 W. Sam Rayburn Dr., Bonham TX 75418.


In other business:

-Commissioners approved minutes of a meeting June 4

-Commissioners approved an Interlocal Agreement between the City of Dodd City and Fannin County and authorize the County Judge to sign on behalf of Fannin County

-Commissioners approved the County Treasurerís Texpool and ICS account for May, 2018

-Commissioners approved the County Treasurerís Financial Report for May, 2018

-Commissioners approved the purchase of a 2000-Gallon Tank Install for $1,250, including an epoxy lining

-Commissioners approved the Fannin County Auditorís monthly reports for May, 2018


During remarks by county commissioners and county judge, Commissioner Barker told the audience that the time capsule from the 1888 Fannin County Courthouse had been recovered and would be opened at next week's regular meeting of Fannin County Commissioners Court. Newspaper reports from that era indicate the time capsule contains approximately 150 items. Barker reported that selective demolition could be completed by the end of the week.

Commissioner Magness thanked the large crowd of residents, as well as representatives of NTMWD, for attending the meeting.

Commissioner Lackey reminded residents that it is now possible to text 9-1-1 if placing a phone call is not feasible.

Judge Carter read a thank you letter from the family of Mike Towery. Carter said he would be meeting next week with Forest Service officials and representatives of the office of Congressman John Ratcliffe in regard to the future of Lake Fannin.

"I feel like we're going to get this Lake Fannin deal done and hopefully sooner than later," Carter said in closing.