GUADALUPE COUNTY, Texas – Lake Dunlap residents could get their waterside view back in just a few years, but it will cost them more property taxes.
It’s been 149 days since the Lake Dunlap dam broke. Since then, the Preserve Lake Dunlap Association, which represents more than 600 property owners, has been working out a plan to get the dam fixed.
On Wednesday night, the association announced it had reached an agreement with the Guadalupe-Blanco River Authority, but it’s dependent on the approval of a tax levy.
J Harmon, president of Preserve Lake Dunlap Association, is confident the organization’s members will vote to approve the new tax for the next 30 years.
”It’s basically $25 million that we’re going to come up with. We are going to form a water district among the front property owners,” Harmon said.
Preliminary estimates presented Wednesday night show property owners would pay anywhere between 10 and 15 cents per $100 in property value, but the exact figures won’t be released until March 2020.
A water taxing district would bring in $1 million annually.
Excess funds from hydroelectric power generated by GBRA would be put into a sinking fund for future upgrades.
“Everyone here wants the lake back instead of what we have now, a river with no water,” Harmon said.
The proposal would have to be approved in the May election. If approved, a Water Control and Improvement District board would be elected in November.
“As long as it brings back the lake, I’m OK with the tax,” said Rita Miller, a property owner.
Property owners still have a lot of questions about the proposal, but others feel it’s the most immediate solution.
“Most of these homes will be passed on to family. It’s important we get that done for them,” said Hans Hodell, property owner.
Lake Dunlap property owners have not sued the GBRA.
Property owners at Lake McQueeney and Lake Placid have sued. Their attorney said this potential agreement doesn’t affect their lawsuit.
“Our approach is that they should be doing the repairs and replacements under the statute,” said attorney Doug Sutter.
“GBRA is who we have to work with and no use fighting with them. We might as well work with them,” Miller said.
If the proposal is approved by voters, dam repairs would begin next summer and would take about two years. The GBRA must formally vote on this agreement in a few weeks, as well.