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Dam failures on Lake Placid giving lakefront property-owners sticker shock

Property taxes have shot up as crews prepare to undertake repair efforts, but officials say they expect the taxes to come down once the final cost becomes clear.

SAN ANTONIO — Lake Placid is the latest of the Guadalupe River lakes to experience a spill gate failure in its dam. Plans have been in place to repair the dam for months now, but some of the residents are feeling sticker shock over what it’s going to cost them.

Nancy Mozisek has been living on Lake Placid for over 20 years.

“My two sons – step-sons – have been married here, my grandson was married here, big wedding,” Mozisek said.

After other high-profile dam failures in recent years, she says it was no surprise to her when the dam feeding lake placid failed after flooding last month.

“We always wondered if, you know, if what happened to Lake Dunlap would happen here because all the dams are old,” she said.

But, she said, that’s not what has her concerned.

“My concern is that my property taxes have doubled.”

She said she feels confident that her property value will go down with the level of the lake, so she was surprised by how much her property taxes increased. The biggest difference on her bill was accompanied by the letters WCID or Water Control and Improvement District.

“None of us like paying another tax,” said Kevin Skonnord, Director and President of the Water Control and Improvement District for Lake Placid

The WCID was created to raise funds for the repair of the dam after other area dams failed. Work is expected to begin on the dam repairs early next year.

“We don’t know the exact cost that’s going to come in from the bids for the contract,” Skonnord said. “With that being said, we have to then be conservative and estimate everything on the high side.”

Skonnard owns a house on the lake himself, so he said he's feeling the sticker-shock as well.

“I also live here, and I also pay taxes,” he said. “So, we’re in this together.”

 But he says he expects those numbers to come down once they have a better idea what the project will cost.

“It’s extremely hard to raise the taxes after your initial tax rate,” Skonnord said. “It’s very easy to lower them.”