Who fixes failing Arlington dam? City says it’s private and not their responsibility

The flow of water seeping over the damaged Prestonwood Lake dam had decreased Thursday afternoon, easing fears that the structure might collapse.

City officials declared an emergency late Wednesday night warning that the failure of the dam and spillway was “imminent.” There were also concerns that water could race downstream into a culvert and onto Green Oaks Boulevard, or send debris into the culvert causing floodwaters to disperse into a wooded area.

No homes are threatened around the 3.5-acre lake and its depth is believed to be between 1 and 5 feet.

While the threat of collapse may be easing, there’s the nagging question of who’s responsible for fixing the private lake.

City Councilwoman Helen Moise, who represents north Arlington and lives in the Prestonwood Estates subdivision, said restrictive covenants in the deeds appear to show the homeowners who have lots surrounding the lake are responsible for its upkeep.

“This is a private lake,” Moise said. “I think the confusion is there is a homeowners association that has been inactive for some years. What we did was pull our deed restriction to see if we had some responsibility. It appears the 23 lots around the lake are responsible for the lake and the dam.”

Many homeowners may not know about the covenants in their deed and Moise said she will likely schedule a neighborhood meeting to talk about the issue.

The city is preparing a report on the lake and the dam and is continuing to provide emergency services in the neighborhood, Moise said.

Bill Hanna: 817-390-7698, @fwhanna
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