Two groups sue the GBRA over plans to drain four area lakes

SAN ANTONIO (KTSA News) -The Guadalupe-Blanco River Authority is being sued by two groups who are trying to stop the draining of  four area lakes along the Guadalupe River.

Houston attorney J. Douglas Sutter, who represents 300 lakefront property owners, says the dewatering would cause irreparable harm.

“The damage will be millions and millions of dollars when you consider that property values will go down, and not being able to use the lakes will reduce the monies that are spent in Guadalupe, Comal and Gonzales counties,” said Sutter.

The GBRA plans to drain Lake McQueeney, Lake Placid, Lake Gonzales and Meadow Lake one at a time, starting September 16.  The Authority cites safety concerns after the collapse of the dam at Lake Dunlap in May and the dam failure at Lake Wood in 2016, but Sutter’s lawsuit claims there are other things that can be done besides draining the lakes to protect citizens. He accuses the GBRA of shirking its responsibilities to maintain, repair and replace all of its assets.

“Our position is they have more than enough money in assets to do what they have to do if they truly are concerned that these dams are going to collapse,” he told KTSA News. “They can cordon off areas and do a lot of things below the dams and above the dams to keep people away from that.”

Sutter says the GBRA has the funds, but they’re not spending wisely.

“They’re dropping $7 million on buying real estate for a new building in New Braunfels,” he said. “We also have found out that they have spent at least $5 million in donations to non-profit organizations that have nothing to do with benefitting the river.”

Another lawsuit against the GBRA involves 10 plaintiffs represented by attorney Ricardo Cedillo.

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