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Rules & Regulations

Texas Municipal Power Agency

Park Regulations Governing Use of Gibbons Creek Reservoir

Gibbons Creek Reservoir

The Cities of Bryan, Denton, Garland, and Greenville created the Texas Municipal Power Agency in 1975 to construct and manage the Gibbons Creek Steam Electric Station, a 465-megawatt coal-fired power plant complex located 16 miles east of College Station. Gibbons Creek Reservoir is a 2,770-acre reservoir that supplies cooling water to the plant. The reservoir’s one and one-quarter mile long earthen dam impounds waters from Gibbons Creek, Sulphur Creek, and several smaller tributaries.

TMPA’s Board of Directors approves the Regulations governing access to and use of Gibbons Creek Reservoir (the Reservoir) and the adjoining recreation areas (the Parks). The Regulations ensure that Park visitors enjoy the Reservoir and the Parks safely, without interfering with the power plant’s operations. The Regulations may be amended from time to time by TMPA’s Board of Directors.

Gibbons Creek Reservoir impounds public waters of the State of Texas. Swimming, boating, and other activities are permitted at the sole risk of Park visitors. Public access to Gibbons Creek Reservoir is permitted only from the adjoining Parks.

Notice

A visitor to Gibbons Creek Reservoir, by virtue of entering the Parks, agrees to abide by the Regulations and understands that his failure, or the failure of any person in his party, to observe and abide by the Regulations, subjects his rights to enter and remain within the Parks to cancellation. Furthermore, the Texas Municipal Power Agency does not, by allowing any member of the public to use the Gibbons Creek Reservoir or Parks, waive its sovereign immunity or other defenses which the Texas Municipal Power Agency may have pursuant to law or court decision or by reason of its status as a political subdivision of this State. The General Manager is authorized to develop and implement appropriate signage, notices, releases, and other measures, as the General Manager considers necessary to protect TMPA against liability.

To ensure the safety of our guests, integrity of the lake and surrounding parks, and the steady operation of the power plant, the Texas Municipal Power Agency requests that you adhere to the following regulations when visiting Gibbons Creek Reservoir.

Gibbons Creek Reservoir impounds public waters of the State of Texas . Swimming, boating, and other activities are permitted at the sole risk of Park visitors. Public access to Gibbons Creek Reservoir is permitted only from the adjoining Parks.

1.0 Applicability

These regulations apply to all public waters under the jurisdiction of the Texas Municipal Power Agency, specifically the waters of Gibbons Creek Reservoir, and to land owned by TMPA, specifically including the recreation areas adjoining Gibbons Creek Reservoir (“the Gibbons Creek Parks” or “the Parks”).

2.0 Authority

These regulations are adopted and promulgated under authority vested in the Board of Directors of the Texas Municipal Power Agency by the laws of the State of Texas, including, but not limited to, Chapter 163 of the Texas Utilities Code and Chapter 31 of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Code.

3.0 Definition of Terms

The following words in these regulations have the definitions attached to them in this paragraph:
a. "General Manager" means the General Manager or the acting General Manager of the Texas Municipal Power Agency or his designee.
b. "Watercraft" means any boat, vessel, personal watercraft, barge or similar floating craft used or capable of being used for transportation on water.
c. "Motorboat" means any vessel propelled or designed to be propelled by machinery, whether or not the machinery is permanently or temporarily affixed or is the principal source of propulsion.
d. "Personal watercraft" means a type of motorboat that is specifically designed to be operated by a person or persons sitting, standing, or kneeling on the vessel rather than in the conventional manner of sitting or standing inside the vessel.
e. "Park Attendant" shall mean any employee of TMPA or any employee of a management company that participates in the operation and maintenance of the Gibbons Creek Reservoir and the Parks.
f. “Park” shall mean any area owned or leased by TMPA that surrounds Gibbons Creek Reservoir open for public visitation. This shall also include all TMPA property on the downstream side of the dam, emergency spillway and entry road.
g. “Motor Vehicle” shall mean any vehicle designed to transport people. This shall include but is not limited to All-Terrain Vehicles, Motorcycles, Golf Carts, Mini Bikes, and Go-Carts.

4.0 Fees

The General Manager will establish fees for use of Gibbons Creek Reservoir and the Parks.

5.0 Watercraft

a. A motorboat operating on Gibbons Creek Reservoir must have an exhaust water manifold or original equipment type muffler installed on the engine.
b. Watercraft on Gibbons Creek Reservoir must be equipped and operated in accordance with applicable provisions of the Texas Water Safety Act and all water safety rules and regulations adopted by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department.
c. In addition to any reporting requirement required under applicable Texas laws and regulations, the operator of any watercraft involved in an accident on Gibbons Creek Reservoir shall immediately report the accident to a Park Attendant. The Park Attendant shall report the accident to the General Manager and a Texas Parks and Wildlife Department Game Warden or other law enforcement official.
d. No person may operate a motorboat on Gibbons Creek Reservoir at a speed greater than the minimum speed necessary to maintain steerage and headway within 50 feet of swimmers, structures, restricted areas or the shoreline.
g. No person may operate a motorboat faster than 20 miles per hour at night on Gibbons Creek Reservoir.
h. All watercraft shall observe "no wake zone" areas as designated by buoys or other posted signs. Sailboats will be exempted from this subsection.
i. Boaters shall not anchor or tie boats to buoys or power plant facilities.

6.0 Restricted Areas

The General Manager may designate certain areas in Gibbons Creek Reservoir which the public will be prohibited from entering or in which certain activities will be prohibited. Buoys or signs will mark such areas. No person shall enter a restricted area or engage in any activity that violates a posted prohibition or restriction. This paragraph will not apply to maintenance, patrol, or rescue watercraft. Without limiting the foregoing:

a. Sailing, boating, swimming or any other activity will not be permitted inside buoys marking power plant intake and discharge structures. Sailing and boating are prohibited inside buoys marking designated swimming areas.
b. Fishing is prohibited beyond marked areas near the power plant intake and discharge, spillway structures, and designated swimming areas.

The General Manager is authorized to request that the designation of restricted areas be approved and implemented by the Grimes County Commissioners Court , the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, or other relevant authorities if required by applicable law.

7.0 Swimming

a. Visitors swim at their sole risk.
b. Swimming is permitted in designated swimming areas only.
c. In areas not designated for swimming, water skiers, wake boarders, and other recreationists must wear a U.S. Coast Guard approved flotation device in the water, at all times.

8.0 Navigation

No person shall anchor any watercraft or construct or maintain any floating or fixed structure that impedes or interferes with safe navigation on or public access to Gibbons Creek Reservoir. No person shall place any navigation buoy or marker on Gibbons Creek Reservoir.

9.0 RV Camping and Picnicking

a. Picnicking and camping are allowed only in designated areas and only by paid permit obtained at the park entrance. No camping permit will be issued to a minor.
b.. No person shall camp in the Park for more than fourteen (14) consecutive days or camp for more than twenty-one (21) days within any calendar month without a valid Long Term Camping Agreement.
c. No person shall litter or contaminate the waters of Gibbons Creek Reservoir or any camping, picnic or other areas of the Parks. Garbage and waste may be disposed of only in receptacles provided by TMPA. In areas where there are no trash barrels, campers and picnickers shall collect and remove their garbage and waste from the Parks for lawful disposal.
d. Fires are permitted only in fire rings or grills installed in the Parks. During extreme fire hazard conditions, the General Manager may ban ground fires within the Parks. No person shall light, build or maintain a ground fire while such a ban is in effect. No person shall at any time burn trash, brush or other refuse within the Parks.
e. All pets must be kept on leashes at all times while in the Park. In no case shall a pet be allowed to constitute a nuisance; this shall include but is not limited to barking, growling, biting, aggressive posture, or defecating in and around camping sites, picnic, or swimming areas. Pet owners are responsible for the removal and disposal of their pet’s feces. Livestock shall not be allowed to range or graze in the Park.
f. No person shall destroy or remove from the Gibbons Creek Parks any timber, shrubs, other vegetation, rock, sand, gravel, caliche, or any other substance, material or geologic feature.
g. Intoxicated persons may not be allowed to enter the Parks. Visitors who become intoxicated while visiting the Parks may be removed from the premises.
h. No person shall bring or use any glass container within the Gibbons Creek Parks.
i. No person shall cause or create excessive noise between the hours of 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. Noise that unreasonably disturbs other visitors is considered excessive. Generators and amplified music shall be turned off between the hours of 10 p.m. and 6 a.m.
j. Check-out time is 12:00 noon k. Campers are limited to the use of the space in which they have rented. Space size in the improved camp sites is from the electric and water pedestals on the right side of the pad to the electric and water pedestals at the adjacent campsite and 20 feet on any side not adjacent to another campsite.
l. Improved campsites are intended for the sole purpose of Recreational Vehicle (“RV”) camping. One (1) tent may be erected behind the registered RV for no longer than fourteen (14) consecutive days or fourteen (14) days within a calendar month.
m. RV campsites may consist of one (1) RV, two (2) motor vehicles, one (1) boat and/or boat trailer. Guests may park in the parking lot provided. All other trailers and work-related vehicles are not allowed to be parked or stored on TMPA property.
n. Electrical usage at each improved campsite is designated for the RV and accent lights. Any other usage of the electrical system is prohibited.

10. Sanitation

No person shall dump or otherwise dispose of trash, garbage, hazardous materials, unsightly matter, junk, or other solid waste on TMPA land or waters. No person shall discharge wastewater, sewage, or effluent from holding tanks, sinks, toilets or other plumbing fixtures on TMPA land or waters. Non-hazardous waste may be disposed of only in designated trash barrels. All wastewater, sewage, or effluent from holding tanks, sinks, toilets or other plumbing fixtures must be discharged in the appropriate dump station. RV sites 1-5 may use the septic system assigned for those sites, all other RV sites must use the dump station located at the front of the park.

11. Firearms

The possession of firearms, prohibited weapons, air rifles/pistols and (except for the purpose of bow hunting for fish as described below) bows is prohibited at Gibbons Creek Reservoir. For purposes of these Rules, "prohibited weapons" means the weapons listed in 46.05(a), Texas Penal Code.

Exceptions:

(a) The possession of a handgun by a person with a license to carry issued by the State of Texas is not prohibited, but under no circumstances may a firearm, including a handgun, be discharged at the Gibbons Creek Reservoir except for self-defense as authorized by law.

(b) Bow hunting of fish, as expressly authorized by and conducted in compliance with Texas statues, is not prohibited.

12. Fireworks and Explosives

Possession or discharge of fireworks or explosives on Gibbons Creek Reservoir or within the Parks is prohibited, except by personnel expressly authorized and trained to conduct fireworks exhibitions for special events authorized by TMPA.

13. Metal Detectors

No person shall use or operate a metal detector on Gibbons Creek Reservoir or in the Parks.

14. Motor Vehicles

Except in special-use areas designated by the General Manager, all motor vehicle operation in the Parks shall be confined to designated roads and parking areas. All motor vehicles operated in the Parks shall be licensed for street use and shall be operated only by persons with valid driver’s licenses in a reasonable and prudent manner to prevent environmental damage and to ensure public safety. No motor vehicle may be operated in excess of a posted speed limit.

15. Advertisements

No commercial notices, signs or advertisements shall be placed on TMPA land. Private messages may be posted only in areas designated by the General Manager for such messages.

16. Prohibition of Nuisances and Disruptive Behavior; Ejection From Park Facilities

a. No person shall create or maintain a public nuisance on the Gibbons Creek Reservoir or in any areas of the Park. No person shall engage in disruptive, destructive, hazardous, unlawful, or illegal conduct on the Gibbons Creek Reservoir or in any areas of the Park. Any person that creates or maintains a public nuisance or engages in disruptive, destructive, hazardous, unlawful, or illegal conduct may be warned and instructed to stop such conduct immediately by any Park Attendant. Additionally, any Park Attendant may eject any person that creates or maintains a public nuisance or engages in disruptive, destructive, hazardous, unlawful, or illegal conduct on the Gibbons Creek Reservoir or in any areas of the Park. The General Manager or a Park Attendant shall have the discretion to determine whether a public nuisance has been created by a visitor to the Gibbons Creek Reservoir or the Park. The General Manager or a Park Attendant shall have discretion to determine whether conduct that provides grounds for ejection has occurred.
b. On notice, which may be given immediately and without advance warning, TMPA may remove any visitor or camper from TMPA property who is in violation of these Regulations. In such event, notice may be given orally or in writing.

17. Waiver and Permits

The General Manager may, on a case by case basis, grant a variance or waiver of one or more of the provisions of these regulations provided the waiver or variance is necessary (i) for the operation of the Gibbons Creek Reservoir, or for the operation of other facilities of TMPA (ii) for compliance with permits or laws, including environmental regulations (iii) for safety or security reasons (iv) as necessary to cooperate with other governmental entities in the accomplishment of governmental purposes or (v) for other reasons consistent with the purposes of TMPA. A waiver or variance shall be evidenced by a permit or other prior written permission issued by the General Manager

18. Validity

If any part of these regulations should be held by a court of competent jurisdiction to be invalid or unconstitutional, the validity of the remainder hereof shall not be affected.