On Friday afternoon, Governor Rick Perry announced appointments for the Red River Boundary Commission to negotiate boundaries with the state of Oklahoma along the Red River Valley. The five-member commission includes three members from the Texoma area.

On Friday afternoon, Governor Rick Perry announced appointments for the Red River Boundary Commission to negotiate boundaries with the state of Oklahoma along the Red River Valley. The five-member commission includes three members from the Texoma area.


The current commission, which was created by Texas House Bill 3212, has been formed to solve problems with the current boundary, which was decided in a similar 2000 compact.


Leading the commission will be State Rep. Larry Phillips, of Sherman. Phillips represents House District 62, which includes Fannin and Grayson Counties, and was elected in 2003.


Bill Douglass, CEO of Douglass Distributing, of Sherman was also appointed to the committee. Douglass, who has done business in Sherman for over 30 years, was also a briefly a part of the Greater Texoma Utility Authority and has served as chairman of the Sherman Economic Development Corporation.


Ryan Johnson, council member for the city of Sherman, is the third member from Texoma to be added to the commission. Johnson was elected in November of 2012 to represent Council-at-large, Place 1, and is a member of the LeCrone Law Firm.


The final two members of the commission are Bill Madden of Dallas, and Frisco Mayor Maher Maso.


Madden, who is the president of Madden Asset Management, is a former board member of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation, and has previous experience with the Texas Water Board, said GTUA General Manager Jerry Chapman.


In 2000, the previous commission negotiated with the state of Oklahoma to allow for the boundary between the states to be based on GPS coordinates of the river bottom. This would account for changes in the river due to floods, erosion, and other natural factors that could change the flow of the river, and thus the boundary between the states.


At Lake Texoma, the boundary was set using GPS coordinates of the river bottom before the creation of the lake. However, it was later discovered that the coordinates provided to the commission in 2000 were incorrect.


This became an issue as the current boundary now crosses through the Lake Texoma pump station that serves much of North Texas including the city of Sherman and the North Texas Municipal Water District. Currently seven of the eight pumping outlets sit inside the border of the state of Oklahoma, said Chapman.


"Suffice it to say, we have a problem," said Douglass. "We need to negotiate with the state of Oklahoma to resolve it."


"Water is such a critical issue not only for North Texas, but for all of Texas," said Johnson.


Chapman said that he is unsure when the issue will be resolved, because the commission will have to negotiate with a similar commission representing Oklahoma, which has yet to be formed. Johnson, however, was optimistic that this can lead to a speedy resolution for both states.


Chapman said that he was impressed by the individuals in the commission, of which three were his personal nominees.


"Their names and reputations should speak for themselves," he said. "They are men of high integrity."