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June 6, 1996

The readers write or call, asking questions that deserve answers. A few follow:

Blanche Pricer echoes the common complaint being heard these days about our free 405 area code long distance calls, the gift of Southwestern Bell. But Mrs. Pricer also is distressed about the condition of the newly resurfaced portion of Memorial Drive, the road leading to Grace Hill Cemetery. It's rough, like a washboard. Hopefully, that's just the base coat.

Alma Dunagan also has problems with the free phone calls but says the system works better if you're using a rotary phone, not the touch tone type.

Don Stoddard is among the many who like to fish at the city lake, southwest of town. That's also our city reservoir, and Don fears the lake is getting too shallow. "I go out there quite often and I can tell that the water line is receding fast," he says. "If we don't get some substantial rains before too long, Perry is going to be in a world of hurt for water. I haven't heard any more talk about an alternate water supply, but I'm wondering why we can't run a line to the Kaw Lake line that goes to Stillwater and hook on to it." Don also made reference to the possible purchase of Lake McMurtry by the city of Perry, a topic of general discussion during the past several months.

Surface reserves of water are dwindling everywhere in this part of Oklahoma as a result of the prolonged drought, but the watershed for our reservoir is not what it was when that lake was built. Farm ponds now capture much of the rain water that used to run into the Perry lake and extensive silting has reduced its capacity greatly. Regarding the Kaw Lake line hookup, my understanding is that because we did not sign on when the line was built, Perry could not now be guaranteed unlimited access to that source of water.

I've heard nothing new about the Lake McMurtry possibility, but it sounds to me like that is the best future source for this city. A lot of angles need to be explored in this regard, and red tape is hard to unsnarl.

Don also mentioned that on one of his recent fishing trips to the Perry lake, he was able to stand on an old bridge at the south end of the lake where water used to cover a county road that was submerged by the lake construction years ago. He believes the lake level is perilously low.

Exterior renovation of the Brown Funeral Home building continues. In addition to the completely new metallic roof, a type of clapboard siding is being installed on the second story level and this is giving the building a totally different architectural look. The faux timbers formerly used on the upper floor exterior walls have been removed, and the structure now more closely resembles the original construction. The new exterior stairway built on the north side has no railing so far, but I assume one will be added so that those ascending and descending will have no fear of falling off.