New Braunfels City Council members on Monday unanimously approved the city’s 2019-20 operating budget and 2019 tax rate, and a resolution seeking immediate state funding for six area lakes owned and operated by the Guadalupe-Blanco River Authority.

The city’s resolution seeks $30 million for the GBRA repairs and maintenance at lakes Dunlap, McQueeney, Placid, Meadow Lake, Gonzales and Wood. Mayor Barron Casteel said it serves as a precursor to formal city requests submitted to Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, House Speaker Dennis Bonnen and area state legislators.

Dozens of Lake Dunlap residents – whose lake was emptied by the a May 14 spill gate failure – voiced support for the resolution that will also be forwarded to U.S. House Reps. Chip Roy, Lloyd Doggett and Vicente Gonzales, who serve portions of Comal and Guadalupe counties.

“We’re willing to tax ourselves to create our Water Control and Improvement District, and we have to go through both counties and the city before getting approval by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality,” said J Harmon, president of the Preserve Lake Dunlap Association. “We have completed the paperwork to move forward, and this week we should finish mapping the area within our WCID in order to get it on the ballot next May. With your help, this can get this through and get the state involved.”

Mayor Barron Casteel proposed the resolution.

“The sooner the state steps up and takes on that responsibility, the better,” he said. “The longer there is uncertainty about the funding of dam repairs, the greater the instability to property values for property owners and businesses. 

“Even though it might take a few years, the faster the state can move toward a commitment toward them by replacing these dams, the faster they will be able to move toward stability. I know that Re. (John) Kuempel and Sen. (Donna) Campbell have been working on it, we’ve just got to get it done.”

Also Monday, council approved the city’s $242.4 million 2019-20 budget, but held a 20-minute discussion prior to approving the 2019 combined tax rate of 48.822 cents per $100 assessed property valuation. Both will go into effect on Oct. 1. They also approved issuances of $5 million in certificates of obligation and $21.4 million in general obligation bonds for 2013 and 2019 bond projects.

On Monday, council members also:

• Issued proclamations designating Sept. 15-Oct. 15 as Hispanic Heritage Month; September as Hunger Action Month and National Preparedness Month; and Sept. 15 as Sons of the American Legion Day in the city. 

• Approved second and final readings of ordinances to create a temporary San Antonio Street Bridge Safety Zone to prohibit pedestrian and river traffic during Comal Bridge renovations; rezonings of properties in the 3900 and 4000 blocks of Interstate 35 North and 4001 IH-35 North.

• Approved appointments of David Lerch and Neil Linnartz two individuals to the Building Standards Commission for terms ending Oct. 26, 2021; David Baum to the Airport Advisory Board for a term ending May 12, 2022; three individuals to the Library Advisory Board – Kay Cartwright for the term ending Sept. 26, 2021 and Carol Bisset and Connie Born for terms ending Sept. 26, 2022.

For more, visit links at the city website, www.nbtexas.org.

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