To those 1,000+ people who attended the January 21st SJRA Public Meeting, the 1,000+ people who wrote SJRA’s management and Board, and the 8,000+ people signing petitions to Governor Abbott requesting an end to SJRA’s lake lowering program, thank you for your contribution to our collective effort. Never before have we seen such support over an issue affecting everyone in our lake community. And with only 17 days until the SJRA Board casts its vote to continue, modify or eliminate their lake lowering program, now is not the time to sit back. We still have work to do…..all of us.
As you’ve probably read in the Conroe Courier, Houston Chronicle and social media, the January 21 Public Meeting was quite the “event”. If you were not in attendance, picture a parking lot overflowing with cars and buses, people walking to the venue sporting their red Stop The Drop tee shirts as if they were wearing their team colors, and a convention center filled past seating capacity with 95% of the attendees dressed in red. The local support certainly made an impression; especially after our community was called “apathetic” over the issue by SJRA only 4 months ago.
Engaged, local individuals and the LCA are refocusing our efforts in preparation for SJRA’s upcoming vote on February 20. We still believe that our best chance for success comes from Lake Conroe residents participating in the outcome and our ability to refute the effectiveness of SJRA’s program by challenging the “science” behind lake lowering. We have engaged Blyel Engineering to model what happens to the water released by SJRA after it passes the intersection of I-45 and the West Fork of the San Jacinto River (the last point of analysis by SJRA’s engineering firm Freese & Nichols). We believe these additional findings will conclude that lowering Lake Conroe by 2’ does little to benefit those downstream and, in fact, may not provide more than a couple of inches of relief to Kingwood. While we believe strongly in our current analysis, which is consistent with Freese & Nichols’ conclusions of minimal effectiveness of lake lowering, we believe a second independent and technically qualified assessment would fully validate our conclusions and our position with SJRA. Truly, how can we say the program doesn’t work or the SJRA Board say it does work if we lack an independent professional validation to support those conclusions?
The LCA has notified SJRA and the Lake Houston Area Chamber of Commerce of our engagement of Blyel Engineering to measure the effectiveness of lowering Lake Conroe by 2’ and quantifying the related depth of water once it reaches Kingwood. While the LCA intends to act as project coordinator, we felt including SJRA and the Lake Houston Area Chamber of Commerce would reduce the perception of the report being biased in the LCA’s favor. Further, we have offered to let them both share in the cost of the project should they so choose. Whether they cost-share with us or not, the LCA is prepared to see that the project is adequately funded and will reach out for donations at a future date when costs are better clarified.
And speaking of donations, are you aware the new LCA website being released February 5 will allow you to make donations with a credit card? More information will follow on the many exciting new features of http://www.lakeconroeassociation.com and our effort to make it easy for you to stay in touch with current lake issues.
Keep in mind that www.stopdraininglakeconroe.com maintains much helpful information on the lake lowering issue, contact information for writing objections to lake lowering, solicitation of financial losses incurred by residents and businesses as a result of lake lowering, and video presentations on the case for removing the lake lowering program.
WHAT DO WE ASK OF YOU? Immediately, if you have not signed the LCA Petition to Governor Abbott, please do so by logging into stopdraininglakeconroe.com. This Petition will be forwarded to The Governor after February 10 and needs more than the combined 8,000+ signatures obtained to date between the LCA Petition, and another petition thankfully conducted by John Beaty. Continue mailing and e-mailing SJRA Management, SJRA Board, Governor Abbott or any relevant elected official with your opposition to further lowering Lake Conroe. And sacrifice your valuable time once more by attending the February 20 Public Meeting at Lone Star Convention Center starting at 6PM. SJRA assures us that there will be additional seating and a vast improvement in the sound system. The SJRA Board will vote IN THAT MEETING and your support by attendance could never be more valuable.
You will hear from us again before February 20 with updates and requests. Please stay the course and see our opposition through to the end. We’re gaining momentum and the rewards can be within our reach. Thank you for being part of the Stop The Drop team.
Mike Bleier, President
Lake Conroe Association