What is the Lake Dunlap WCID Board?

Posted by Hunter Croan on Monday, April 15th, 2024 at 8:38pm.

Here in the Texas Hill Country, a Water Control & Improvement District (WCID) is a nonprofit taxing district that represents homeowners who live on our lakes. The funds these districts raise go into maintaining their respective lakes, including the dams that separate them from the Guadalupe River.

The Lake Dunlap WCID Board has made the most progress so far, but several Texas lakes have their own districts, too. Lake McQueeney, Lake Placid, and Meadow Lake each have a WCID and unique tax rates.

The History of the Lake Dunlap WCID Board

During the spring of 2019, a sudden crisis struck Lake Dunlap: a piece of its 90-year-old dam unexpectedly gave way. Soon after, the dam's middle spillway collapsed, prompting a large rush of water to empty from Lake Dunlap.

Just a day later, Lake Dunlap's water levels had dropped dramatically. The Guadalupe-Blanco River Authority (GBRA), which owns and controls the lake, did not have the funds to replace Lake Dunlap's dam quickly. It also lacked the financial resources to replace other nearby aging dams, including those in Meadow Lake and Lakes McQueeney and Placid.

But as one system failed, another rose to take its place. Residents of Lake Dunlap (and other affected lakes) came together to form a new taxing district. The new WCIDs would tax the same residents who voted to create them. The goal was to build a new dam and ensure that the lake communities had the money they might need to keep things going.

What Does the Lake Dunlap WCID Board Do?

Each WCID uses money collected from homeowners in addition to GBRA's donation of 100% of the gross (not net) hydroelectric revenue to pay for dam construction. NOTE: Meadow Lake is not set up this way. We will cover this in a future blog. The WCID Boards are made up of residents who live on the water in each district, not residents of the nearby New Braunfels community.

That means that your WCID board is made up of people with your best interests in mind. Board members are also your neighbors, friends, and peers.

The Lake Dunlap WCID Board's work certainly paid off. As of spring 2024, Lake Dunlap is now 100% full and restored to its former glory. There's also a notable addition to the lake: a new hydroelectric generator. The generator helps create income for the taxing district – the more energy it creates, the better tax rates become for homeowners.

Lake Dunlap's generator produces more revenue than that of the other affected lakes, so the tax rates in this district are lower than average (about 20¢ on the 100). For comparison, tax rates on McQueeney fall around 48¢, while rates on Placid and Meadow come in at about $1.

Lake Houses Belong on Lakes!

While the creation of WCIDs hasn't come without controversy, most waterfront voters agree that these taxing districts are vital. After all, when you purchase a lake house, you want a lake house – not a river house.

Residents seem to agree. The Meadow Lake WCID received a voter approval rate of about 82%, and around 90% of voters on Lake Dunlap, Lake McQueeney, and Lake Placid were in favor of creating a district for themselves.

The Lake Dunlap WCID Board has been an integral part of ensuring that truth is protected. Without a prompt solution to the dam failure, the Lake Dunlap we know and love would be a thing of the past.

And that has implications not only for lake lovers but also for anyone who owns a home on the water. A space that was originally set up as a lakefront home but then became a river home could easily lose up to 30% of its market value.

We like to think of our WCID's tax rates as a sort of homeowner's association fee. Our lakefront communities might not have HOAs, but they do give us access to the “amenities” of the lakes. The money always goes back into our pockets, as an improved waterfront and lake means better real estate profits and a stronger community.

Learn More About Texas Waterfront Real Estate & News

Whether you're already living on the lake or are interested in making the Texas Hill Country your home, count on The Lakefront Group to connect you with the updates and insights you need to know.

We're here to help you discover the best Texas lake homes for sale and stay up to date on the changes affecting our communities.

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