This document endeavors to collect some of the frequently asked questions to the Lake McQueeney WCID 1 Board of Directors and our consultants during this election process.
1. What are the propositions on the November 3, 2020 ballot?
The following propositions will be on the November 3, 2020 ballot to be selected FOR or AGAINST:
THE CREATION OF LAKE MCQUEENEY WATER CONTROL AND IMPROVEMENT DISTRICT NO. 1
THE PROVISIONS OF THE CONTRACT BETWEEN LAKE MCQUEENEY WATER CONTROL AND IMPROVEMENT DISTRICT NO. 1 AND THE GUADALUPE-BLANCO RIVER AUTHORITY, INCLUDING THE LEVY OF A TAX THEREUNDER FOR THE DEBT SERVICE REQUIREMENTS OF THE GUADALUPE-BLANCO RIVER AUTHORITY LAKE MCQUEENEY DAM AND HYDROELECTRIC FACILITIES BONDS AND FOR CHARGES ASSOCIATED WITH THE GUADALUPE-BLANCO RIVER AUTHORITY’S OPERATION AND MAINTENANCE OF THE LAKE MCQUEENEY DAM AND HYDROELECTRIC FACILITIES, ALL AS DEFINED AND PROVIDED IN SAID CONTRACT
AN OPERATION AND MAINTENANCE TAX FOR FACILITIES AUTHORIZED BY ARTICLE XVI, SECTION 59, OF THE TEXAS CONSTITUTION, NOT TO EXCEED FIVE CENTS ($0.05) PER ONE HUNDRED DOLLARS ($100) VALUATION OF TAXABLE PROPERTY
2. So, the tax rate will only be five cents ($0.05)?
In accordance with Texas Election Code, Section 3.009, the District currently estimates that, if the propositions contained herein were approved and the bonds proposed herein were authorized and issued, with a maturity not to exceed 40 years, the District’s ad valorem debt service tax rate is projected to be a maximum of approximately $0.35 per $100 of assessed valuation. The estimated tax rate is based on current assumptions and projections of interest rates, property development, assessed valuations and tax collection rates. To the extent that such assumptions and projects are not realized, the actual tax rate assessed by the District may vary substantially from the estimated tax rate. The estimated tax rate provided in this Section shall not be considered part of the bond propositions to be submitted to the voters pursuant to this Order and shall not be considered as a limitation on the District’s authority to levy, assess and collect an unlimited tax as to rate or amount pursuant to Texas Constitution Article XVI, Section 59.
This total ad valorem tax rate would combine the contract rate approved in Proposition B, estimated at $0.30 per $100 of assessed valuation, and the Operation and Maintenance tax rate of $0.05 per $100 of assessed valuation. This means on an average home value of $500,000, the annual tax implication would be roughly $1,750 if the maximum $0.35 ad valorem tax rate were levied. At this time, the District does not expect to levy an ad valorem tax rate until tax year 2021, due in January 2022.
3. Who is eligible to vote in the November 3, 2020 ballot regarding the Lake McQueeney WCID 1 propositions?
In order to vote in the Lake McQueeney WCID 1 election on any or all propositions outlined above, an individual would need to be registered to vote at an address located within the boundaries of the District. Voter registration requirements are set by State law and are regulated by the Texas Secretary of State’s Office and the County Voter Registrar. For more information, please visit https://www.votetexas.gov/, or contact the Guadalupe County Voter Registrar, at 830-303-6363, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
4. Why did the Lake Dunlap dam fail and how does that affect Lake McQueeney?
The Lake Dunlap and Lake McQueeney dams were built between 1927 and 1928 and are mostly comprised of their original components. The failure of the Dunlap dam was in the steel truss-like "gate" on top of the dam that is lowered during a rain event to provide flood management. Early engineering reports related to the Lake Dunlap dam failure indicate the lower hinges on the upriver gate failed at the Lake Dunlap dam. Independent engineering review of the gates by Lake McQueeney consultant Huitt-Zollars and subsequent report dated June 8, 2020, recommend the spill gates in the Lake McQueeney dam be replaced with Hydraulic Powered Spill Gates.
5. Why is the water level on Lake McQueeney lower than it usually is?
Prior to the collapse of the Lake Dunlap gate, Lake McQueeney was lowered approximately 18" for repairs to its gates. During this time, the Lake Dunlap gate failed, raising concern for the McQueeney dam gate's viability. GBRA decided to abandon the repairs on the McQueeney dam and lowered the lake another 6" to minimize water pressure. It is unlikely the lake will be raised beyond its current level until replacement gates are built, per the Huitt-Zollars findings outlined in the report linked above.
6. What is the length of time the levels will be lowered, and what is the impact on the riverbed during the drain?
Black & Veatch’s (dam engineering firm) estimated construction duration for Lake Dunlap is 28 months (24 months for construction, additional months for weather delays). Lake McQueeney’s dam repairs schedule will be developed as Lake McQueeney’s dam engineering documents are developed. The lake will be lowered up to 8’ below current level. Options will be explored to maintain the highest lake levels possible.
7. Doesn't our dam provide flood control? Can't we get FEMA money?
Because Lake McQueeney does not have the capacity to store water like Canyon Lake, McQueeney is considered a recreational lake only and not a flood control lake. Therefore, it does not qualify for FEMA grants or other federal assistance.
8. Can you elaborate on the phased engineering approach discussed in the meeting(s)? Do we have the Freese & Nichols report?
To begin, geotechnical testing should be performed in the next few weeks. The resulting geotechnical report should follow a few weeks after the testing.
Then, Black & Veatch will proceed with the required 30% engineering design after receiving the geotechnical report. Black & Veatch will complete this dam engineering step only if the votes pass. It should take 6-9 months to complete the engineering.
We do have F&N’s engineering report for Lake Wood. This report did not address the need for additional concrete adjacent to the gates, concrete hardening, stop logs, a bridge or associated crane. The F&N/Lake Wood investigated three gate types - Bear Trap, Obermeyer, and Hydraulic Crest. The Hydraulic Crest gate was deemed the best overall gate type to address Lake McQueeney Dam’s gate replacement.
9. What are the potential damage to fish habitats, trees, docks, and bulkheads? How will the vegetation of the lake be managed?
Efforts will be made to minimize detrimental impacts to the items mentioned. Partial dewatering is necessary to perform the dam improvements and gates installation. A dam gate failure would impact the fish habitats, trees, docks, and bulkheads similarly.
The Friends of Lake McQueeney group is in early discussions to address vegetation growth during dam construction. Homeowners can further aid in maintaining vegetation growth directly in front of their property.
10. Are some of the construction items necessary? For example, a drain system that will only be used periodically or infrequently?
The stop logs will allow ongoing maintenance to be performed on the new gates without lowering the lake. Maintaining normal lake levels, via the stop logs, during scheduled gate and dam maintenance, should minimize or alleviate damage to fish habitats, trees, docks, bulkheads mentioned above.
11. How do I find more information regarding the election process, the GBRA draft contract, Engineering documents, and more?
Lake McQueeney WCID 1 will continue to update the District website with educational materials up to and including early voting. There will also be a Resident Educational Event on Saturday, September 26th, 2020, at the Lake Breeze Ski Lodge. You will be able to speak to the Directors, consultants, and ask questions regarding the propositions outlined above.
Saturday, September 26, 2020 9:00 AM – 11:00 AM
Lake Breeze Ski Lodge
225 Ski Lodge Rd.
McQueeney, TX 78123
For any questions you have that are not answered on the District Election page, or between Lake McQueeney WCID 1 meetings, please contact the District through the ‘Contact Us’ form on the District website.