Board looks at lower-cost option to fix Lake Murvaul dam issue

A “no parking” sign is posted on a public boat ramp at Lake Murvaul on July 2. Panola County Fresh Water Supply District No. 1 officials have spent the past year weighing options to fix an issue at the Lake Murvaul dam.

The Panola County Fresh Water Supply District No. 1 is applying for a state grant to enhance boating access at Lake Murvaul — and Rosie Jones Park and Tinkle Park top their list of priorities.

Lake officials discussed needed improvements at their boat ramps during a Thursday meeting. The water district is applying for a state grant up to $500,000 that’s designed to promote and enhance boating.

“We need to think about everything that could possibly be related to boating access that we might want to do,” board member Barbara Cordell said. Cordell is putting together the grant ahead of its October deadline and asked her fellow officials to think: “What are the priorities? What is it that we want to do?”

Cordell said Thursday they were looking at improving things like boat ramps, ADA-accessible piers, parking lots and access roads. The district has five boat ramps at Lake Murvaul:

  • the Lake Murvaul Marina and Campgrounds off of FM 1234
  • Rosie Jones Park, north of the FM 1971 bridge
  • south of the FM 1971
  • Tinkle Park, south of the lake off FM 176
  • the old FM 1971 boat ramp, which is now just used for air boat access

Officials agreed Rosie Jones Park was the top priority and told Cordell they wanted to focus on the boat ramp and pier.

“The road’s in pretty bad shape too,” President Eric Pellham said.

Tinkle Park was next on the list.

“I get phone calls,” Operations Manager Kayla Gray said. “They said there’s a hole at Tinkle Park (on the ramp). They said if you know what you’re doing, you can straddle it and be OK, but if you don’t you’ll fall into it.”

Pellham said the old 1971 boat ramp should be No. 3, followed by the piers at the marina and campgrounds.

Board member Sammy Peace also asked about putting a light at Tinkle Park for boaters coming in and out of the water at night — and several officials brought up the idea of adding concrete picnic tables at the park — but board members expressed concerns because previous improvements had all been vandalized. Pellham said there used to be a light, but someone had cut and taken out electrical equipment at the site.

The district will take a vote on the final grant proposal at their September meeting, Cordell said.


Carthage native Meredith Shamburger has worked for the Panola Watchman since 2018. Before that, she worked at sister papers in Longview and Marshall; the Dallas Morning News; and The Daily Voice, a hyperlocal news company in Westchester County, New York.