Preserve Lake Dunlap Association reaches agreement with river authority to repair dam, restore lake near New Braunfels

Bulkheads and docks at Lake Dunlap now tower over the water level after the spillgate failure May 14.

Bulkheads and docks at Lake Dunlap now tower over the water level after the spillgate failure May 14.

The Preserve Lake Dunlap Association announced Oct. 9 a preliminary agreement with the Guadalupe-Blanco River Authority to restore Lake Dunlap.

In the process of creating a water control and improvement district, which would tax lake residents based on the amount of waterfront property they own, PLDA was given assurances from GBRA that the river authority will fund design and engineering costs of new spill gates and contribute funds from hydroelectric power on Lake Dunlap toward construction.

“It’s a great day on Lake Dunlap,” PLDA President J Harmon told supporters. “We’ve been waiting on this a long time.”

With more than 500 landowners around Lake Dunlap, the PLDA will vote in May whether to establish a water control and improvement district around the 410-acre lake.

“We are willing as residents to tax ourselves to support the [water control and improvement district] we’re creating,” Harmon told New Braunfels City Council last month. “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.”

After spill gates at Lake Dunlap failed in May, area homeowners and the PLDA began seeking a solution, while GBRA announced plans to drain four remaining lakes that make up a six-lake system known as the Guadalupe Valley Lakes.

A pair of lawsuits filed Sept. 5 in Guadalupe County District Court have halted GBRA’s plans of a 12-foot drawdown on Lakes McQueeny, Placid, Gonzales and Meadow Lake for 12 months while a three-expert panel determines which areas are safe for recreational activity.

Each dam is estimated at $15 million-$35 million to repair, according to GBRA officials. Repairs on Lake Dunlap are expected to be complete sometime in 2022, pending approval of the agreement by GBRA at a board meeting Oct. 23.
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