Commissioners table GBRA resolution


A resolution to call on Texas Governor Gregg Abbott to replace Guadalupe-Blanco River Authority board members and executive management was tabled again by the Gonzales County Commissioners Court at its meeting on Monday, Nov. 9.

Following the 2016 Lake Wood dam failure, formerly lakefront property owners say its value has been left in question. Friends of Lake Wood, an organization which has been advocating for the dam’s repair, began asking the Gonzales County Commissioner’s Court to take such action in 2020, just over four years later. Member Joe Solansky said the former general manager of GBRA, Bill West, had promised that the dam would be repaired within “six to nine months,” shortly after the failure.

The resolution has been tabled multiple times, with a need for more information or legal consulting cited at Commissioners Court meetings.

Representatives from GBRA were present to share their side. Current GBRA general manager Kevin Patteson said at the meeting on Monday that there is no value in repairing the dams, as the hydroelectric power generated by such dams would not cover the cost. He cited the recent election, in which residents upriver in Guadalupe and Comal counties chose to vote in a taxing district, charging themselves higher taxes to pay for dam maintenance.

The Court ultimately voted to table the resolution until a letter could be drawn up as opposed to the resolution created by Friends of Lake Wood, as Precinct 2 Commissioner Donnie Brzozowski and County Attorney Paul Watkins suggested a change of approach and tone.

In other business:

  • A burn ban, which will go into effect on Nov. 13, 2020, was approved.
  • Monthly reports were received from Constables in Precinct 1 and Precinct 3, and the Tax Assessor-Collector.
  • A change of start date was approved for the County’s Emergency Management Coordinator, Jimmy Harless, who is moving from part to full-time.
  • New and returning members were appointed to the Gonzales County Historical Commission, including co-chairs Glenda Gordon and Brent Baker.
  • An exception to subdivision rules in Precinct 2 was granted, and requests to add a portion of CR228 (Stone Creek Drive) to Precinct 1 and a portion of CR1411 to Precinct 4 was approved.
  • The Belmont Estates Subdivision received approval of its final platting.
  • Vacation time which was unused by Sheriff’s Department staff due to COVID-19 was allowed to be rolled over into 2021, with an expiration date of Jan. 1, 2022.
  • Armstrong, Vaughan and Associates was selected to conduct the County’s annual outside audit.
  • A 1985 CAT 953 Track Loader was declared surplus and authorized to trade for the purchase of a 2015 Ford F350 from Streamline Marketing, the purchase of which was also approved for Precinct 4.
  • An order to advertise and approve bid specifications for bulk fuel options for the County was approved for all precincts.
  • The court voted to approve county participation in the Texas Association of Counties Cyber Security Training program.
  • The Commissioners voted to approve bills to be paid by the county.