This week the GBRA pumped the brakes on its plan to build a new $6.6 million set of offices in New Braunfels, instead opting for a temporary building to add additional space to its existing facility in Seguin.
There’s no question the Guadlaupe-Blanco River Authority needs additional office square footage. Some have made an issue of where that office should be built, the legislation that creates the GBRA is pretty clear.
The domicile of the District shall be in the City of New Braunfels, County of Comal, where the District shall maintain an office, in charge of its General Manager.
GBRA officials couldn’t say why the office ended up in Seguin, or whether that law still applies. After all, the decision was made long ago, and an attorney would have to answer the second question.
Setting aside the location issue, even if the space is needed, the reality is that this isn’t a good time for the river authority to be seen spending $6.6 million on anything — much less new digs in New Braunfels.
With residents around Lake Dunlap and Lake Wood in Gonzales county staring at empty lakes, and hundreds of other homes in the Guadalupe Valley looking at a potential bleak future without their own lakes, anything the GBRA spends millions on that doesn’t involve solving the failing dam dilemma risks coming off as tone deaf.
Even if the authority isn’t found to be legally on the hook for replacing or repairing the dams — and yes that’s a potential outcome — spending millions on offices while others hunt for millions for the dams isn’t a good look.
The decision to wait on the new offices is one that everyone should welcome and was a step in the right direction for GBRA.