Around mid-November, Hot Springs Village POA skid steer operators began dredging Lake Cortez. Click here to read the article. At the beginning of December 2022, contractor, Brad Hartin Grading & Excavating Inc. joined the operation using an amphibious excavator. Todd Noles, Hot Springs Village Superintendent of Lakes, Dams, Common Property, & Forestry, shared that as of the date of this article (January 9, 2022) around three-quarters of Lake Cortez has been successfully dredged. Noles said, “hopefully, the lake dredging will be finished by the end of January.” The Lakes Superintendent said the work is going quicker than he thought it would.

As of January 5, the total dredging costs paid to the contractor are $24,000. Noles explained, “of course, he still has to finish dredging the lake, but this cost is versus a total of $650,000, which is what it cost to dredge a lake in previous years.

Some of the silt dug up by the contractor is being piled up in several areas in the lake. The silt piles will be removed when the water level is raised by a few feet. This enables Hartin to load up the silt on his barge.

The silt material removed from Lake Cortez is being used as fill at a few locations, rather than purchasing fill dirt from an outside vendor. Some of the silt has been taken to the Balboa Gate and is being utilized to build a right-of-way. Additionally, the silt is also being used at Cedar Creek Sewer Plant as fill dirt for a culvert job. If there is any silt remaining after these two projects are complete, it will be mixed with the compost material available at the Terlingua Dump Site and will be available for property owners’ use.

Due to the lower dredging costs, Noles said the contractor will be used to complete dredging at some additional lakes that were not finished in the past. After the completion of Lake Cortez (except for removing the silt piles), the plan is to go to Lake Coronado. Once the water level is high enough in Lake Cortez, the contractor will return to remove the silt material.

Noles said, “so far, it has been a huge success.” Property owners have been very appreciative. “Some property owners that have not been able to get out of their boat docks in around 12 or 13 years can now get out of their coves.”

“Our goal is to ensure the lake is navigational for all the property owners,” stated Noles. If you cannot get in and out of your boat dock, you should contact Todd Noles at

Noles said they found a better way of meeting the objective of dredging the lakes but are doing it in a more budget-friendly way than was done in the past. By doing the dredging the way we are this year, we are saving hundreds of thousands of dollars. “We are still meeting our objectives, and I owe it all to the Public Service Director, Ken Unger, for challenging me to find a more cost-effective way of dredging. It has been a learning experience, and I have enjoyed every bit of it,” expressed Noles.

Todd Noles, HSV Superintendent of Lakes, Dams, Common Property, & Forestry

Cover Image provided by HSVPOA. The red line on the map shows the dredging to date.

Report by Cheryl Dowden

Contact Information for Lakes, Dams, Common Property, & Forestry Superintendent

Todd Noles
Superintendent of Lakes, Dams, Common Property, & Forestry
Hot Springs Village
(501) 984 -3800


Ken Unger
Director Public Services
Hot Springs Village