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PLDA Weekly Update - August 10, 2019


Despite this stifling heat, a great deal is going on with the Lake Dunlap Restoration Project, so let's jump right in.

1) City of New Braunfels. PLDA board members Larry Johnson and Doug Harrison met with representatives of the city planning and development office, as well as the city attorney to launch the process of securing their formal support for the restoration of the dam and our proposed water district. The meeting went very well, and we hope to be on the city council agenda very soon. When we know the date, we will, of course, send that info out to you.

2) Engineering Presentation to all Lakes. The GBRA held a special meeting to allow the various technical teams from the GBRA lakes to ask questions directly of the two engineering firms working on designs for the GBRA. The technical team from Lake Dunlap participated and found the dialog informative and helpful. Many questions remain of course, but the meeting was reported to clearly be a step in the right direction.

3) Petition Update. Unfortunately, TCEQ informed us that there was a flaw in our petition to create a water district over a question that we were aware of, and we had asked for a TCEQ review of our petition before it was launched to address this very question. The response was positive, so we launched the drive.

This news was very disappointing, but we're continuing to keep our goals to get this dam fixed firmly in mind.

At this point, we are reconfiguring our strategy to go out for a Water Control Improvement District rather than a MUD. It looks very likely we will have to redo the petition in the new WCID format, and will be contacting those landowners who signed it to please sign the corrected copy.

4) McLean & Howard, L.L.P. Due to the fact that we are all volunteers with more energy than deep knowledge about water districts and dams, our political team reached out to see who might best be suited to represent the PLDA and the landowners. Tony Corbett, of McLean & Howard, LLP of Austin has agreed to represent us. Mr. Corbett comes with stellar recommendations and has already begun to work with us to get our petition and application on track as soon as possible. He is working on the new petition and will run it by both the TCEQ and the Attorney General for signoff before we go back out. We are also working with Mr. Corbett to secure the help of a financial advisor specializing in the kinds of bonds we plan to sell to finance the work on the dam.

5) Meeting with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. Next Wednesday Larry Johnson and Mr. Corbett will meet with the TCEQ's lead attorney, the head of the water district division, and other TCEQ staff to discuss strategy and help raise awareness about our project and what we hope to accomplish. Once that meeting is done, we should have a pretty clear sense of our new strategies.

6) Meeting with the Guadalupe Commissioners. PLDA President J Harmon will meet with Guadalupe County Commissioners next week to discuss the specifics of their role in supporting and hopefully funding a part of our efforts.

7) Meeting with GBRA. Also next week, PLDA board members J Harmon and Doug Harrison will meet with senior leaders of the GBRA to draft an agreement on their participation in the project, their level of funding, and details about management and operations, among other things. Once this draft is completed, it will be sent to our General Counsel, George Scofield, of Norton, Rose, Fulbright, LLC, in San Antonio for review and comment.

Whew! What a week this has been, with much more to come as summer winds its way to a steamy end. While the petition setback is not anything we anticipated, wanted or expected, please know that it has served to inform and redouble our efforts.

As always, for the latest and most accurate news about Lake Dunlap, continue to look to the PLDA. Finally, PLDA remains steadfastly committed to moving forward on all this in the spirit of collaboration, community, and full transparency.

J Harmon President PLDA jrharmon123@yahoo.com

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