GBRA finds $6 million to build new offices; no money for Lake Wood


SEGUIN — Much to the dismay and outrage of the Friends of the Lake Wood Association (FOLW), the Guadalupe-Blanco River Authority (GBRA) voted last Thursday in Seguin to approve a motion authorizing the GBRA to enter negotiations with an architect to build a new $6 million dollar building in New Braunfels for management.

The GRBA listened to a presentation by its general manager claiming the GRBA needed more space, so the staff was seeking a motion to allow the general manager to entertain bids on relocating from Seguin to New Braunfels. The motion was approved unanimously, and that angered the membership of the Friends of Lake Wood Association.

Prior to the meeting at the time for public speaking, Landra Solansky addressed the board.

“I am a property owner on what we used to call Lake Wood,” she said. “I know you are all probably tired of us taking up your time, with that being said, we are tired of this Board wasting our time with empty promises. GBRA staffers have told us on two different occasions on the record that your plans for a $6 million office complex were put on hold. So you can imagine when we look (and see it) on the agenda today. Please remember that residents of Gonzales County and Lake Wood property owners are watching you spend money that could be used to fix our dam. I respectfully request that you take no action, until you complete the Lake Wood dam project.”

In spite of that, the board voted to approve the architect bids to build the office complex anyway.

“That’s the biggest slap in the face anyone could do to this community and this dam,” said one public official in Gonzales who asked to remain anonymous. “They have all this money to house management in luxurious style, but they can’t fix our dam which generates green electricity and provides flood control? There is something rotten going on here.”

“I asked them to drain their own swamp,” said Joe Solansky and one of the leaders of the FOLW movement. “It really is frustrating to talk to these people because they tell us one thing, and then don’t follow through. I don’t know what to say about this.”

The only good news that came out of the board meeting was an announcement by authority staff that they have come to a conclusion as to what type of spill gates that want to use on the dam when the time comes. It will be a hydraulic lift gate, but will take at least a year of soil sampling to analyze before they can move forward. Authority staff claimed to have narrowed it down to two different builders, and would be making a recommendation in the future.