I want to give a brief update on our continuing efforts to stop the seasonal lake lowering program (SLLP) and offer a big thank you for those Lake Conroe LCA members and nonmembers that have responded this week to our request for personal examples of damages to their property due to the Seasonal Lake Lowering Program. We have had dozens of responses with a wide range of negative impacts and significant costs to repair bulkheads and boats due to the unusually low water levels caused by the SLLP in 2091 and 2020. This information will significantly help our case before the Montgomery County Court currently deliberating on jurisdiction over City of Houston (CoH) and San Jacinto River Authority (SJRA).
If you have had damage or loss of access, please take five minutes to go to our website at lcatx.com/damages-survey/ before noon this Friday to provide basic information about your problems. We will summarize this for the Court and all personal information which will remain confidential. In looking at what has already been submitted it is sobering reminder of how broad and significant some of the personal costs are – which happens because of SLLP and without any beneficial flood mitigation.
Our last court hearing regarding jurisdiction was May 11th and the judge reviewed the current pleadings by the LCA and the SJRA. He agreed to allow both sides the opportunity to submit additional information through several May deadlines and set the next hearing for early June. We continue to believe we have a strong case in that the Court has jurisdiction on this matter and that if decided in our favor, we have an even stronger belief that our evidence of waste and harm will finally get a proper review. In the meantime, we continue to wait for the TCEQ to formally rule of the entirety of our complaints submitted on December 28th, 2020 regarding the SLLP.
Please visit the LCA website to read the letters and evidence we have sent to the entire CoH City Council. The LCA prepared and sent letters on May 11th to each of the City of Houston Council Members who will be soon reviewing water rate increases for Houston residents and businesses. These letters with attachments (see copies on the website) are requesting that the City Council review the wastage of 4.4 billion gallons of water from their Lake Conroe annual water rights permit due to Seasonal Lake Lowering before they pass on rate increases to their customers. The LCA has gotten acknowledgement of receipt of these letters from several Council Members but no direct response as of May 20. The LCA will be following up with requests for meetings with some council members as well as make this information available to the media.
It might seem a bit out of sync to talk about low lake levels just now with the recent rainfall. However, what we currently see on the lake is normal and not wasted nor undervalued by any Lake Conroe resident or business owner. Please help take up the public messaging of our research and facts about the ineffectiveness and waste of the SLLP. We are clearly at risk of the SLLP becoming permanent.
Finally, we have accessed our reserve funds to pay for legal costs of approximately $60,000 with more expected. Last year we were able to recharge the reserve fund with dozens of $100-500 donations and several donations of $10,000 and one of $30,000. We are now asking again for monetary support. Remember these donations are tax deductible and enable us to continue to fight the SLLP. Please donate any amount to keep our efforts well supported and not at risk to stop due to lack of funds.
Kevin Lacy – LCA President