New Braunfels City Council approves resolution seeking state funds for dam repair, reconstruction and maintenance

The city of New Braunfels weighed in on the current issue surrounding six dams controlled by the Guadalupe-Blanco River Authority.

The New Braunfels city council unanimously passed a resolution on Sept. 9 asking the state, Governor and state legislature to fund the GBRA “for the repair, reconstruction, and maintenance of critical infrastructure including dams, located on State of Texas waterways, and specifically at Lake Dunlap, Lake McQueeney, Lake Placid, Meadow Lake, Lake Gonzales, and Lake Wood.”

After dam failures at Lake Wood in 2016 and Lake Dunlap on May 14, the GBRA made the decision to drain each of the remaining four lakes by up to 12 feet beginning Sept. 16.

However, two lawsuits filed by lake residents will seek injunctions against that decision and monetary relief for dam repairs and to ensure stable property values for lake residents.

Meanwhile, the New Braunfels city council appealed to state authorities while recognizing cost estimates for Lake Dunlap alone to be $30 million.

The resolution passed by the council also recognized the potential negative impacts of dam failures on property values and lake-related businesses and the action by residents of the Preserve Lake Dunlap Association to create a water district to fund the dam repairs.

“We are willing as residents to tax ourselves to support the [water control and improvement district] we’re creating,” PLDA president J Harmon told the council. “It’s unique in the fact we have to go through two counties and a city to get it complete. We are in a process of mapping the entire district and who’s going to be affected by it.”

The PLDA is aiming for approval of a WCID for Lake Dunlap residents by May 2020, Harmon said.
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