Seguin Chamber passes resolution to work to stop lakes' draining
Seguin Chamber members speak out about lake issue
After the members of the Seguin Area Chamber of Commerce overwhelmingly responded to a weekend survey urging the Chamber to stand a stand on lowering the lakes, the Chamber Board of Directors passed a resolution to join the efforts of all impacted parties to work toward a long-range plan with shared responsibility for preventing the collapse of our lakes.
The survey was emailed to the 650 Chamber members, 403 of whom answered, said Chamber President Kendy Gravett. “Our Board has been discussing the dams’ future long before the gate failure at Lake Dunlap,” she said. “After hearing of GBRA’s plan to dewater the lakes, the Board decided to poll our members to hear their thoughts.”
The survey asked a few simple questions - Will you be negatively affected by the draining of our area lakes? Personally and/or your business? How will you be affected? Are you in support of the Seguin Chamber taking a strong position in support of the #Save Our Lakes call to action against draining the lakes?
Of those 403 respondents, 368 said they will be negatively affected, Gravett said, either personally, in their business or both.
“The mission of the Seguin Chamber is to promote and strengthen the prosperity of our members and our community,” she said. “And we strive to make Seguin the best choice to live, work, play and prosper. We don’t believe draining our lakes is best for the community at this time.
“Reading the comments from our members was sobering,” she said. “Citing concerns about lower property value and therefore less financial support for the city, county and school districts, the comments also included loss of income from folks who do business based on water-related activities, home sales and more.”
“I am extremely concerned about the environmental impact and the potential decline and death of many large cypress trees and other vegetation growing near the shore,” said one respondent.
From another, “The water table will drop, having a negative effect on slabs, septic systems and 100 year old trees. Businesses will crater. The healthy, robust community I planned to join will disappear.”
Job loss was also a common comment – “We will likely have to get rid of over 50% or more of our staff. This translates to roughly 50 staff members who we will not have positions for in the future. This will be absolutely devastating to Seguin's economy and will set the city back a decade in regards to all the great progress Seguin has made within the last many years of becoming a destination area.”
“About 38% of my business is based on tourists. This will impact significantly. And right now other investors are backing out of deals to help grow our downtown which will be a big impact on the success of downtown!”
“In retail, we base our business on area population and growth. Taking away one of the area most alluring attractions, how can it do anything but negatively impact our business.”
“We have many shoppers that visit the lake. The lake offers the higher price range homes that bring a different consumer to Seguin. I think draining the lakes will cause people to stop shopping because they will be worried about property values.”
“We will have lost the only reason people have invested so much into this market. Without the lakes we will lose jobs which in effect will result in an over supply of housing and no economic growth and most likely negative population trends. New construction housing will stop and the jobs related to it will go elsewhere.”
“The Bandit Golf Club relies on surface water from Lake McQueeney. There is no clear alternative for our source water that is attainable in the time GBRA gave us to react. This act could take us out of business in short order.”
”It will continue to drive more people to New Braunfels instead of Seguin.”
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A RESOLUTION BY THE SEGUIN AREA CHAMBER OF COMMERCE OPPOSING THE DECISION BY GUADALUPE BLANCO RIVER AUTHORITY TO DEWATER LAKE MCQUEENEY, LAKE PLACID, MEADOWLAKE AND OTHER MATTERS IN CONNECTION THEREWITH.
WHEREAS, the Vision of the Seguin Area Chamber of Commerce is to make Seguin the best choice to live, work, play and prosper; and
WHEREAS, the Mission of the Seguin Area Chamber of Commerce is to promote and strengthen the prosperity of our members and our community; and
WHEREAS, the lake systems in Guadalupe County are a vital and attractive natural resource; and
WHEREAS, the lake systems in Guadalupe County have a substantial contribution to the tax revenue of our school districts, municipalities and county government; and
WHEREAS, the lake systems in Guadalupe County attract and benefit economic development efforts in our region; and
WHEREAS, the lake systems in Guadalupe County result in significant tourism and new dollars entering our community to the benefit of small businesses and large businesses alike; and
WHEREAS, the access to water from the Guadalupe River and our lake systems is essential to the maintenance and safety of properties in and around those systems; and
WHEREAS, draining the lakes and any failure to repair the dams on the lakes would result in a significant negative impact to the natural environment; and
WHEREAS, our efforts to attract and retain good jobs for the community will be impeded by the draining of the lakes and any failure to revitalize the lake system; and
WHEREAS, we support any efforts to evaluate safety measurements to be taken to reduce the potential dangers of injuries resulting from a dam collapse.
WHEREAS, a majority of members of the Seguin Area Chamber of Commerce believe the dewatering of the Guadalupe County lakes will negatively impact the prosperity of Chamber members and the entire Seguin community.
BE IT RESOLVED BY THE SEGUIN AREA CHAMBER OF COMMERCE THAT:
Section 1: The Seguin Area Chamber of Commerce hereby finds that it is in the best interest of the Chamber and its members to join in the efforts, along with all governmental, regulatory and impacted parties working together expeditiously to develop a long-range plan with shared responsibility for preventing the collapse of our lakes and ensuring their revitalization.
Section 2: This Resolution shall be in force and effect from and after its final passage, and it is so resolved.
PASSED AND ADOPTED, THIS 28th day of August, 2019.
Kendy Gravett, President
Elaine Bennett, Chair of the Board