MEADOW LAKE WCID No. 1 INFORMATION
MLNDA sought to create the Meadow Lake Water Control and Improvement District (WCID) No. 1 for the purpose of financing improvements to Nolte Dam that will allow Meadow Lake to be returned to its normal water elevation. The WCID is a type of local government that is authorized by law to own, operate, finance, construct and maintain lakes and dams. Both the Lake Dunlap community and the Lake McQueeney community previously created WCIDs for purposes of financing improvements to their respective dam facilities. MLNDA sought to do so for Meadow Lake.
The WCID is governed by a Board of Directors elected by residents within the WCID. It is currently contemplated that the WCID would acquire ownership of the Nolte Dam facilities from the GBRA, and the WCID would thereafter finance and construct improvements to Nolte Dam for the purpose of the restoration of Meadow Lake.
Petition to Create the WCID
Under Texas law, a WCID is created by execution of a Petition for Creation by landowners within the proposed WCID, and submission of that Petition to the County Commissioners Court. On July 18, 2022, MLNDA filed a Petition for Creation of the WCID with Guadalupe County. The Petition was signed by 118 owners of real property within the proposed WCID. The petition can be viewed in the link below:
Proposed WCID Boundaries
The Petition for Creation of the WCID that was submitted to Guadalupe County sought to include 1,814 acres of land within the WCID. The lands to be included in the WCID generally consist of all tracts abutting the lake (including any canals or waterways directly connected to and with access by water to the main lake), adjacent tracts owned by the same property owner as the tract abutting the lake, and contiguous tracts with an easement, lease, or other contractual/legal right to access the lake. A map identifying the boundaries of the proposed WCID can be found here:
By law, the Guadalupe County Commissioners Court had the authority to exclude from a proposed WCID any land that would not be benefitted by inclusion in the district. As a result and in a timely manner, MLNDA informed property owners who were included in the proposed district that if they did not believe their property should be included, they could communicate this to the Commissioners Court. There were no property owners who did this.
Commissioner Court Hearing
The Guadalupe County Commissioners Court held a hearing for consideration of the Petition on August 16, 2022 at 10am at the Guadalupe County Courthouse, 101 East Court St. in Seguin and approved the creation of the Meadow Lake WCID No. 1. The decision to approve the creation of the WCID was based on the following factors: (i) whether organization of the WCID is feasible and practicable; (ii) whether the land to be included and the residents of the proposed WCID will be benefited by the creation of the WCID; (iii) whether there is a public necessity or need for the WCID; and (iv) whether creation of the WCID would further the public welfare.
Temporary Board of Director's Meeting
The temporary Meadow Lake WCID No. 1 Board of Directors had their first meeting at the GBRA annex building on August 19th at 2pm to call for the election of the Meadow Lake WCID #1. Confirmation of creation of the District required the approval of a majority of the voters at the November 8, 2022 election. The Board also voted 1) to NOT accept fees for being on the Board, and 2) that the WCID will rely on donations to fund expenses until a 2nd election to levy taxes. The WCID Board Agenda posting and the WCID Notice of Election can be found below:
Note that In order to be on the ballot as a Board of Director candidate/write-in candidate, notarized applications had to have been received 78 days before the election. For this election, that was August 22nd. Write-in means a candidate not affiliated with a political party, not a candidate whose name can be written in on the day of the election. This is in accordance with State election laws. The applications for the five temporary Board of Directors can be found here:
Creation of the WCID required approval of the voters within the WCID to confirm its creation and elect a permanent Board of Directors. The confirmation election was held on November 8, 2022 and required the approval of a majority of the voters within the District. The Meadow Lake WCID No. 1 creation was confirmed with 90.61% of voters within the WCID voting "Yes" and 9.39% voting "No". The permanent WCID Board of Directors was voted in and includes:
Jacy Lee Robbins
Joe Brent Hammond
Leslie Coody Anders
Russell Brian Rinn
Acquisition of Nolte Dam
It is currently contemplated that the WCID would acquire ownership of Nolte Dam from GBRA. Preliminary discussions for acquisition of the dam have taken place between MLNDA and GBRA. With the creation of the WCID, next steps will include negotiating a detailed acquisition contract. Upon acquisition of ownership, the WCID would assume responsibility for improving and operating Nolte Dam.
Financing of Dam Improvements
MLNDA has conducted preliminary engineering analyses for the proposed improvements to Meadow Lake. Based on the preliminary analyses and depending on the nature of the improvements, the estimated costs of the improvements range from $7,800,000.00 to $17,250,000.00. With the creation of the WCID and acquisition of Nolte Dam, additional engineering will be undertaken to refine the engineering design and costs.
The current plan is for the WCID to seek financial assistance from the Texas Water Development Board and other sources to fund the dam improvements through low-interest loans and/or grants. The application for financial assistance can now be filed since the WCID has been created.
The primary revenue source for the WCID would be ad valorem taxes levied upon the property located within the WCID boundaries. A WCID does not have the authority to levy ad valorem taxes without approval by a majority of the voters included in the WCID. Accordingly, another election will be held for the voters to consider authorizing the WCID to issue bonds for improvement to Nolte Dam and the levy of taxes to pay debt service on the bonds and WCID costs. Prior to the election, a detailed engineering report will be prepared and made available to the public so that the voters may consider the proposed improvements to Nolte Dam that would be funded with the bonds, and the estimated costs of the improvements. The bond proposition will specify the maximum amount of tax bonds that may be issued by the WCID.
For the 2022-23 fiscal year, the Meadow Lake WCID No. 1 will rely upon donations raised through MLNDA to fund operating expenses since NO taxes were levied. Details about the budget for the WCID can be found below.
The Meadow Lake WCID No. 1 permanent Board of Directors was elected in the November 8, 2022 election and includes the following individuals:
Jacy Lee Robbins
Joe Brent Hammond
Leslie Coody Anders
Russell Brian Rinn
Directors are up for reelection on even years in May. In order to be on the ballot as a write-in candidate, applications must be received 78 days before an election. Write-in means a candidate not affiliated with a political party, not a candidate whose name can be written in on the day of the election. This is in accordance with State election laws.