Local News

Dam solution has Fayetteville neighbors divided

Posted October 8, 2015 5:13 p.m. EDT
Updated October 8, 2015 6:28 p.m. EDT

— The plan to replace an earthen dam over Keith Lake has residents of the Rayconda subdivision divided.

The dam, which runs along Sipple Avenue, has been deemed hazardous by the state because most of one side has washed into the lake. Any fix would require that Sipple Avenue be closed. The conflict comes because Sipple Avenue is the sole access road to Rayconda.

Fayetteville owns the road, but the dam is owned by the Rayconda Home Owner's Association, which is responsible for its maintenance. A repair is estimated at a cost of $1 million.

The city's solution is to close the road, removing traffic from over the dam, and cut a new entrance into Rayconda on Raeford Road. That wouldn't cost the 230 Rayconda homeowners a dime. Money to build the new entrance would come from city funds that are normally used to repair neighborhood dams.

HOA President Freddy Rivera sees the savings, but he is not convinced.

"If they were to make the repairs on this, that million dollars, one tenth of that would be paid by the city, but the remaining nine tenths would be assessed to the Rayconda homeowners," he said.

"My concern is we've always had one way in and one way out here. Our Community Watch is just fantastic. Now they're going to be opening it up to two sides."

Bill Kiker, whose Rayconda property is right next to the dam, likes the city's plan.

"That doesn't bother me whatsoever," he said of the prospect that Sipple Avenue would be closed.

Rivera would prefer that the city re-evaluate the dam and allow the residents to pay for repairs.

"Once the dam is reclassified to low risk, then we will just make the necessary repairs that we need to make in order to extend the longevity of the dam itself," he said.

Residents have until 2017 to decide whether they want to accept the road closure or ante up to have the dam repaired.