Cypress Black Bayou
Recreation and Water
Cypress Black Bayou Recreational Park is seeing major upgrades with renovations and new infrastructure.
Since early 2016, the park began renovations and several updates have been added to the park, including a new marina and fishing piers, cabins, RV sites, and expanded parking lot.
“The park had gotten such disarray that no one was coming. The grass was high, the RV Park was in bad shape, and the old cabins are just embarrassing to have somebody in. We have made improvements to the park,” Executive Director Robert Berry said.
The marina and fishing piers are now open, two new cabins are ready with a third at about 85 percent completion.
There are 32 new RV sites with a full hookups, an asphalt parking lot is now at the 162 launch, and there are park road improvements and cleanup at the zoo.
A Houston-based energy company is hoping to use Cypress Black Bayou as the water source for hydraulic fracking of oil wells.
Empresa Energy addressed the Cypress Black Bayou Recreation and Water Conservation District’s public meeting on June 12. The company hopes to drill four oil wells in late summer or early fall, with hopes of adding another six sometime after that, on its land near the lake.
The drilling would be hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking.” This requires very large amount of water, and Rick Harris, vice president of operations for Empresa Energy, estimates that each of the wells built will use about 260,000 gallons.
Empresa’s business model is aimed to find productive gas and oil sources in unconventional areas with test wells, and later to sell the land to larger companies who will expand the operation. Harris noted there could be 70 to 80 wells once the project reaches its full potential.
Last Tuesday’s Cypress Black Bayou Recreation and Water Conservation District (CBB) board meeting was dominated by discussion of the board’s plan to adjust landowner fees for folks living on Cypress Lake and Black Bayou. The board made certain that the meeting was well publicized so that landowners could be present and have an opportunity to comment.
From this viewpoint, it sure would have been helpful if more of the landowners took advantage of the monthly CBB meetings to better understand the need to adjust these fees.
The new schedule would eliminate the $4 per month fee to draw water from the lakes for lawn care, and the square-foot-based fee for structures over the water. It would impose a fee on Black Bayou of $230 for owners with a structure over the water, and $130 for those who don’t have any such structure. On Cypress, the fees would be $250 and $150 respectively.
It’s only been a few weeks since nearly 60 percent of Bossier Parish voters casting ballots in the November 4 election agreed that the 1.54 mill property tax to Cypress Black Bayou Recreation and Water Conservation District (CBB) should continue for another decade.
But CBB’s board was ready for that affirmative vote with plans to make major upgrades to the park. For the past year or so, the park’s relatively new board members have been occupied with strengthening accounting controls, making repairs and some upgrades to the park’s infrastructure, and looking at long-range improvements to maintain CBB as the parish’s chief outdoor recreation jewel.
Robert Berry, CBB interim Executive Director, explained that the board looks to bond an estimated $3 to 3.5 million to finance the park’s upgrades and needed improvements.
Cypress Black Bayou Recreation and Water Conservation District
135 Cypress Park Dr ~ Benton, Louisiana 71006 ~ (318) 965-0007
Phone Calls May Be Recorded for Quality and Training Purposes