Oklahoma may need installment plan to pay millions for Sardis Lake

Tuesday, June 13th 2006, 9:30 am
By: News On 6

TULSA, Okla. (AP) _ State Treasurer Scott Meacham says the state may have to set up an installment plan to pay the federal government for building Sardis Lake in southeastern Oklahoma.

A federal appeals court ruled this week that a contract the state signed for the U-S Army Corps of Engineers to build the lake is enforceable and the state must pay.

No dollar amount was set but federal attorneys have said in earlier documents that Oklahoma owes more than $64 million.

The lake was built in 1974 to provide water for the state to sell to cities and industries and Oklahoma agreed to pay for the construction over 50 years plus pay operating costs.

But the sale of water never developed and the state stopped making payments in 1997. The federal government sued in 1998.

A spokesman for Attorney General Drew Edmondson says state lawyers are still deciding whether to appeal to the US Supreme Court.