Tomorrow is the San Jacinto River Authority’s (SJRA) Public Meeting at the Lone Star Convention Center, and it is anticipated that the SJRA Board will vote on the renewal, modification or elimination of its Seasonal Lake Lowering Program (SLLP) for yet another year. We truly need your support one more time by attending this event and showing the community’s unified desire to see the program eliminated.
The Public Meeting commences at 6PM. SJRA will start with a presentation and then move into the Public Comment portion of the evening (recognizing elected officials first). Like last meeting, upon arrival, you will be asked to complete a Speaker Registration Form if you desire to speak in Public Comment. Unlike last meeting, SJRA will sort those forms between “for lake lowering” and “against lake lowering”; and speakers will be alternated between “for” and “against” to avoid a long block of speakers representing only one position. After completion of Public Comment, the SJRA Board intends to cast its vote. Following the vote, the meeting will adjourn.
Many in attendance on January 21 were disappointed with the lack of respect and civility exhibited towards opposing views. Speakers in Public Comment should be able to present their viewpoint without fearing harsh reactions or “boos” from the audience (we do feel positive reactions like applause are appropriate). While each side has very different views, that shouldn’t mean we can’t treat each other with respect. I’m confident that many Kingwood residents feel strongly that the SLLP provides a valuable flood management tool, and I’m equally confident that Lake Conroe residents and businesses disagree and desire a return of normal lake levels. It’s OK to disagree (that’s why SJRA is hearing Public Comment), but the LCA does not feel we need to disrespect our Kingwood neighbors any more than we want to be disrespected. Just because we disagree doesn’t mean we can’t be nice and stand as good neighbors to one another. Brian Bondy (Lake Conroe Area Chamber of Commerce President) and Jenna Armstrong (Lake Houston Area Chamber of Commerce President) will be offering some similar opening remarks to request a productive and respectful meeting between both communities.
The Lake Conroe Association (LCA) has received the results of our recently completed engineering study completed by Bleyl Engineering that evaluates the effectiveness of the SLLP and quantifies what a 2’ reduction in Lake Conroe means to flood levels in Kingwood during a 100-year and 500-year storm event. That report was provided to SJRA and its Board yesterday for their consideration. Kevin Lacy from the LCA Board will present those findings in his 3-minute Public Comment tomorrow. The LCA will release the Bleyl Engineering report in its entirety shortly.
Please get in your car (or bus) one more time, sacrifice an evening of your time, and attend tomorrow’s SJRA Public Meeting in support of eliminating SJRA’s SLLP. Let SJRA’s Board see our commitment to see this decision to its end. The Lone Star Convention Center is located at 9055 Airport Road. There is strength in numbers, and we appreciate all of your support more than you’ll ever know.
Mike Bleier, President
Lake Conroe Association