It is the mission of the Lytle Lake Water Control and Improvement District to create a luxurious environment surrounding Lytle Lake, to serve Lytle Lake residents on a timely basis, and to control cost and keep taxes at a minimum while safeguarding and enhancing the assets of LLWCID for the District taxpayers.
HISTORY OF LYTLE LAKE
Lytle Lake is a reservoir on Lytle Creek within the city limits of Abilene in Taylor County (at 27°03′ N, 98°46′ W). The lake was built in 1897 to secure a water supply for the city and to attract a proposed state hospital for epileptics. The reservoir was named for early settler John Lytle, who trapped mustangs in the area to sell to the Mexican government.
The Lytle Water Company was formed to build the dam, with banker J. G. Lowden as chief stockholder and banker Otto W. Steffens as his business partner. The company began work on an earthen dam on April 1, 1897, and on June 14 of that year, with the dam almost complete, a downpour hit the area and filled the lake overnight. On November 23, 1913, the Lytle dam cracked and washed away when a deluge of rain hit the area.
A thicker and higher concrete dam was built by the American Public Service Company, which had acquired all the local utilities on December 2, 1912. Lytle Lake was to prove inadequate as the city’s primary water supply and during the drought of 1917–18, it dried up. The drought moved civic leaders to seek other solutions to the water shortage problem, and Lytle Lake became less important as a water source for Abilene.
The West Texas Utilities Company evolved in 1923 as a member of the American Public Service Company, and Lytle Lake served its power plant. The lake changed ownership in the 1930s, when the American Public Service Company sold its holdings to Central and Southwest, Incorporated. In July 1952 Lytle Lake went dry again, and when its bed had dried (in September 1952), the lake was excavated and 700,000 cubic yards of silt were removed. The lake has an estimated capacity of 400,000,000 gallons of water, and its surface area is 163.6 acres.
In October of 1978 the lake was offered for sale to area residents, but they declined the offer. During the mid-1980s the West Texas Utilities Company still owned the lake, which was used by the company as a recreational facility.
In 2000, area residents were once again give the option to take ownership of the lake and after a vote of homeowners living around the lake (whose property touched the water), the Lytle Lake Water Control and Improvement District was formed. Control of Lytle Lake transferred for West Texas Utilities to the LLWCID in 2001. The Lytle Lake Water Control and Improvement District is currently the State authorized governing body that oversees the operation and use of Lytle Lake and its properties in southeast Abilene, Texas.
A five-member Board of Directors, elected from the property owners that adjoin the lake, makes the decisions that direct the operations of the District. Daily maintenance and administrative services were managed by the West Central Texas Municipal Water District from 2000-2010. The WCTMWD was instrumental in the creation of the LLWCID and during the lakes second dredge project, which resulted in substantially deeper water throughout the lake. The project began in 2004 and was not completed until 2009 and not until after the District settled in a lawsuit against the original contractor for failure to complete the project.
In 2010, the management contract with the WCTMWD was not renewed and the Board then entered into an agreement with David Bell of Bell Engineers and Consultants, Inc. David served as General Manager of the WCTMWD until his retirement in 2010 and was influential in the creation and daily management of the District since its inception. Bell Engineers, et al managed the District until November 2015. The District was under the management of Shawn Cordry of Cordy Contracting Services until 2020. In October 2020, the District hired Heather Henderson as the lake manager. Heather currently manages the District.
Board of Directors
Hours of Operation
- 12:00 pm – 5:00 pm
- 12:00 pm – 5:00 pm
- 12:00 pm – 5:00 pm