STAFF WRITER JARED FIELDS
Not long after lunchtime on Dec. 27, the final sculptures from Walkway of Lights at Lakeside Park in Marble Falls were loaded onto trailers to close the 29th annual event.
“The city departments helped us tear it all down,” said Marble Falls/Lake LBJ Chamber of Commerce Events Coordinator Brandi Payne. “(The Burnet County Intermediate Sanction Facility) helped as well, and it’s all taken down.”
Walkway of Lights is being taken down earlier than normal to allow for two projects at Lakeside Park.
First, the Lower Colorado River Authority is lowering lakes LBJ and Marble Falls beginning Dec. 30 to allow for lakeside maintenance and debris removal.
Second, the city of Marble Falls is coordinating park and boat ramp construction with the drawdown.
Lake LBJ will be lowered about 4 feet from its normal operating range, and Lake Marble Falls will be lowered about 7 feet.
Each lake will be lowered a foot per day until the desired level is reached.
This is the first year for Lake Marble Falls to be lowered since 2009. The city will apply for funds from Burnet County to provide large dumpsters for residential neighborhoods to place debris.
This is the second time in three years for Lake LBJ to be lowered. A drawdown took place in January 2017. The LCRA made the decision to lower the lake again because of the October flood.
Granite Shoals City Manger Jeff Looney was prompted to write a letter to property owners about how the city’s plans during the drawdown will be different.
“Past clean-up efforts caused a number of issues and burdened staff beyond our resources,” the letter stated. “During the last drawdown, the city attempted to assist lakefront owners by placing dumpsters in city parks. Dumpsters were overfilled with mud and debris, requiring dumpsters to be off loaded. When dumpsters were full, mud and debris was dumped on the city parks grounds. In addition, some citizens and contractors took advantage of the city’s efforts to assist lakefront owners by placing batteries, hazardous materials, and construction debris in the dumpsters. As a result, the city will use a new approach to assist lakefront owners, and your cooperation in the matter is appreciated.”
During the drawdown, Granite Shoals will:
• allow brush to be placed only on the street for pickup from Jan. 21-25 and Feb. 25-Mar. 1;
• open four city parks — Robin Hood, Woodland Hills, Bluebriar, and Hillcrest — for contractors and homeowners to access their properties. Other city parks will be off-limits for business use and personal debris removal.
• and require homeowners and businesses to obtain a permit from the city.
According to the letter, the city will monitor its parks during the drawdown for prohibited activity.
LCRA will begin refilling the lakes Feb. 19.