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Hope Mills gives firms another chance to repair signature dam

Posted April 3, 2012

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— Hope Mills commissioners voted 4-1 Monday night to give construction firms another chance to repair the town's troubled dam, which has been breached by flood waters twice in the last nine years. 

The plan is a tolling agreement with five different construction firms that have been working to stabilize the dam since June 2010. That agreement means the firms must waive their rights to using statute of limitations as a legal defense if the town decides to sue.

Repair work is slated to begin in August. The town hopes to have the dam stabilized by August 2013, but the construction agreement extends into 2014 to give the firms enough time to finish the job.

Once the dam is fixed, town residents can once again enjoy Hope Mills' signature lake, which has been dry for nearly two years.

Hope Mills Lake was drained in June 2010 after a structural failure around the drainage system allowed a sinkhole to develop, causing water to flow out beneath the $14 million concrete dam. That 2-year-old dam replaced an earthen dam that washed away in a 2003 storm.

Hope Mills commissioner Tonzie Collins said the construction firms shouldn't be given another chance to pour taxpayer money into the dam.

"State money, local money, federal money – do you see anything done out here? No. That's my answer," Collins said.

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  • piene2 Apr 4, 2012

    for once I must blame the state and federal agencies for this fiasco. If they had simply replaced the earthen dam that was more then adequate there would be no problem. The only reason it failed was, due to a lac of proper maintenance, the spillway gate could not be opened to relieve the excess water pressure.

  • sunshine1040 Apr 3, 2012

    Company that built it should fix it and guarentee starts the day the lake is up to original level

  • Glass Half Full Apr 3, 2012

    I look forward to the residents of Hope Mills getting their lake back. This has been a mess. The new dam is an eyesore. The old earthen dam held for many years and did a much better job than this multi-million-dollar failure. I hope when it's fixed the lake level comes back up to where it should be.