Residents hopeful but uncertain for future of Lake McQueeney

Community awaits looming court decision over GBRA decision to drain lakes

By Garrett Brnger - Reporter

Hundreds gathered at the Lake Breeze Ski Lodge at Lake McQueeney Saturday for what could be one of the last water-skiing shows in the lake's history.

McQueeney and three other lakes controlled by the Guadalupe-Blanco River Authority are set to largely disappear, unless two lawsuits by property owners are successful in preventing their planned drainage. Preceded by a jet flyover, the Lake McQueeney Ski Bees show offered an opportunity for nervous residents to potentially say "good bye" to their lake.

"Typically we have a show in October for the Halloween season but this year due to some of the pending things going on here at the lake, we decided to move it up," said show director Lacey Gosch.

The GBRA had planned to begin draining Lake McQueeney, Lake Placid, Meadow Lake and Lake Gonzales one-by-one beginning Monday, citing safety concerns over their aging dams. An ongoing court hearing aimed at getting a temporary injunction against the draining has put those plans on hold, pending a decision by the judge.

Many in the crowd watching the Ski Bees perform were hopeful, even confident, that a planned drainage would somehow be averted, but they were still ready to go out with a splash.

"I drove in from Austin just to be here," said Cory Cain, who grew up on McQueeney. "Just to make sure that I could be here for one last show if it is the last one. Hopefully it's not. I'm keeping the faith."

The threat of drainage helped to pull many to Saturday's show, including guest announcer Pete Thompson. Though he has lived in Colorado since 2007, Thompson returned to the place where he and so many others have decades worth of memories.

"Are we going to lose those memories? Are we going to lose this lake," he wondered. "We're worried about that. We're concerned about that."

A temporary injunction could keep the GBRA from draining the lakes until a trial is held. Homeowner Jane Flieller said she is confident Saturday's show wouldn't be the last.

"We've got a wonderful group of people that live out here, and we are movers and shakers and we are going to get this problem fixed. It may take some time and take a lot of money, but we're going to do it," Flieller said.

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