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GBRA's lakefront settlement with property owners hinges on November election

A dam break in May of 2019 brought homeowners anger and disgust. A new settlement brings hope. But what will the Nov. 3 election produce?

SAN ANTONIO — Property owners at Lake Placid and Lake McQueeney need to win at the polls in November to hold the Guadalupe-Blanco River Authority to a new out-of-court settlement.

At issue: lake operation levels and the maintenance of dams that create the Guadalupe Valley Lakes. The development is the latest to come in the months since the disastrous Lake Dunlap dam collapse in May of 2019, which sparked ongoing legal fallout.  

Since that time, property owners along the lakes have fought to protect their investment from a negative impact. That battle pitted them against the lakes’ overseer, the Guadalupe-Blanco River Authority (GBRA).

Protective property homeowners formed an oversight entity in water control improvement districts (WCID) this year. Those entities need voter support in November to be taken off of dream support and become living community governance.

The WCID also need voter ratification to hold the GBRA to a term sheet in a settlement agreement with the Lake Placid and Lake McQueeney Water Control Improvement Districts.

“This settlement is a testament to the results we can achieve when we all work together toward a common goal,” GBRA CEO/GM Kevin Patteson said.

In a news release, Patteson said he appreciated the partnership, dialogue and collaboration from the homeowners and their associations. The GBRA made legal assurances in October with the Preserve Lake Dunlap Association.

“The announcement of a settlement between property owners on Lake McQueeney and the Guadalupe-Blanco River Authority clears the way for immediate steps to be taken to secure the long-term future of their beloved lake,” Ricardo Cedillo said.

Cedillo is the attorney representing the Friends of Lake McQueeney. On the group’s website, a post about the settlement on July 24 wraps with the need for voter support at the polls, or else the GBRA is relieved of settlement terms.

According to the settlement, the GBRA will:

  • Maintain current lake operating levels
  •  Repair and perform maintenance on the dams
  •  Seek a low-interest loan of (Approximately $40 million) for repairs
  • WCIDs get 100 percent of the hydroelectric revenues connected to the dams.
  • Fund $1.2 million engineering studies
  • WCID can seek additional legal remedies for lake drawdowns or dewatering

“The residents and voters of Lake McQueeney now have a chance to control our own destiny, secure our beloved lake for decades to come, and protect their property values, jobs, economy and the community as a whole,” Cedillo said.