CUMBERLAND COUNTY, N.C. — A battle is brewing over a neighborhood pond. The state says draining it is the only way to fix an unsafe road, but residents say they do not want the eyesore of a mud pit.
Kelly Fox said four generations of her family have enjoyed the pond that sits just outside Hope Mills.
"We meet here. We congregate here. We fish here. We ride our boats here," Fox said.
State officials said they need to drain the pond, so they can fix a dam before the road above it collapses. They say the man who owns the land did not want to fix the dam himself, so it is up to the state. It is up to the property owner to decide whether to refill the pond later.
"It could be a pond if it were brought up to standards," said Gerald Lee, of the state Department of Environment and Natural Resources.
People who live near the pond wish there were another way.
"It's our home. It's our neighborhood. It's important," resident James House said.
Two state lawmakers are helping residents to try to save the lake. They plan to meet with state officials next week to discuss alternatives to draining the pond.