Settlement Agreement Reached
The Guadalupe-Blanco River Authority (GBRA) has reached a settlement agreement with property owners from Lake McQueeney and Lake Placid in the case of Skonnord v. GBRA, represented by San Antonio attorneys Ricardo Cedillo and Les Strieber. The settlement anticipates the execution of comprehensive financing and operation contracts between GBRA and the newly created Water Control Improvement Districts (WCIDs) on each lake. These contracts will address the specifics of the spillgate replacement and dam repair. Per the settlement agreement, GBRA will continue maintaining the current operating levels on each lake until work begins on the spillgate replacement and repairs on that lake’s dam.
“This settlement agreement is a testament to the results we can achieve when we all work together toward a common goal,” said GBRA General Manager and CEO Kevin Patteson. “We appreciate the partnership, dialogue, and collaboration of the residents and lake associations throughout the process.”
Financing and Operation Agreements in Progress
GBRA has finalized a financing and operation contract for spillgate replacement and repairs on Lake Dunlap Dam with Lake Dunlap WCID. The contract has been submitted to the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) for final review and approval. The financing and operation agreement fulfills the aims of GBRA and Lake Dunlap property owners expressed in memorandum of understanding between GBRA and the Preserve Lake Dunlap Association (PLDA) signed in October 2019.
The GBRA Board of Directors has authorized Patteson to finalize negotiations and execute funding and operation contracts with Lake McQueeney WCID and Lake Placid WCID, as anticipated in the aforementioned settlement agreement.
In anticipation of reaching agreement with the WCIDs, GBRA has applied for zero interest and low-interest loans from the Texas Water Development Board (TWDB) for the replacement and repair projects. Bonds will be issued by GBRA for the project and debt service for the individual projects on each lake will be paid for by a pledge of tax revenues from taxpayers on those lakes.
GBRA will commit revenues from the sale of hydroelectric power at each lake to the WCID on
that lake going forward. These revenues will be available to the WCIDs for debt service, operation and maintenance costs and other lawful purposes. Once the spillgate replacement and other necessary repairs are complete, GBRA will continue to perform the operations and maintenance of the dams.
Water Control Improvement Districts Moving Toward Voter Confirmation Elections
Lake Dunlap WCID was created in February 2020 and is moving toward a voter confirmation election in November 2020.
Lake McQueeney WCID was created effective April 2020 and will appear on the ballot for voter confirmation in November 2020. The Guadalupe County Commissioners Court recently approved the creation of the Lake Placid WCID, and a voter confirmation election will occur in November 2020.
The Guadalupe-Blanco River Authority was established by the Texas Legislature in 1933 as a water conservation and reclamation district. GBRA provides stewardship for the water resources in its 10-county statutory district which begins near the headwaters of the Guadalupe and Blanco rivers, ends at San Antonio Bay, and includes Kendall, Comal, Hays, Caldwell, Guadalupe, Gonzales, DeWitt, Victoria, Calhoun and Refugio counties.