Local News

Hope Mills gives firms another chance to repair signature dam

Posted April 3, 2012 5:10 p.m. EDT
Updated April 3, 2012 6:30 p.m. EDT

— 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.