Residents Weigh In on Future Lake Somerville Development

By: Ashlea Sigman Email
By: Ashlea Sigman Email

Just days away from the summer crowds, Lake Somerville was peaceful Wednesday afternoon.

Built in 1967 as a reservoir, today some of the only business on the lake are two Marinas.

"The lake essentially is about the same as it was 40 years ago," said boat owner Wayne Vinton.

However,that could change. At a meeting Wednesday night, community members as well as the Brazos River Authority and the Lower Colorado River Authority discussed ways to bring development to Lake Somerville.

Everyone at the meeting had an opinion.

"We can still see lighting bugs and stars and things and I think that that's what we need to play up is the rural aspect," said Somerville resident Camilla Godfrey.

A golf course, restaurant, and lodge were all suggested.

"If I lived in Houston I don't know what I would come up here and do short of swim half and day cook cheeseburgers and stay in a motel. Nothing wrong with that, but I could go to Port Aransas and do that and then have 45 other things to do," said Brenham resident Marshall Harrell.

Everyone agreed development would help Somerville.

"It would be a tremendous boom to the economy in this area," said Vinton.

Residents just want to proceed cautiously.

"We need to do it in an organized manner and keep some of the rural charm and right now, we don't have that rural charm. We've just got poverty and we need to change that," said Godfrey.

The Army Corps of Engineers owns the land directly around the lake, so that's part of why there isn't a lot of development now.

In the future, the Corps could lease the land to private companies, or there could be a joint public-private initiative.

If you missed Wednesday's meeting, but would still like to weigh in, there's another one Thursday night at 6p.m., at the Birch Creek Park Estates community center

Results of the study will be presented to lawmakers in July.

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