Boiling Spring Lakes commissioners approve $20M referendum on November ballot

BOILING SPRING LAKES, NC (WWAY) – A $20 million bond referendum to help rebuild dams in Boiling Spring Lakes will appear on the ballot in the November election.

Boiling Spring Lakes commissioners approved the bond referendum Wednesday night.

It’s been four years since Hurricane Florence destroyed the dams, according to City Manager David Andrews.

“I think that the community has waited patiently over that time to get the dams back, and the latest hurdles we have is a bond election,” he said.

Last month, nearly $300,000 was budgeted to prepare the lake bed for the project, $200,000 for equipment and $100,000 for labor.

“If the bonds pass, we’ll actually be able to start construction January of 2023, but if they fail we’ll be delayed until we can find another funding source,” he said.

According to Andrews the city has come up with $37 million from the state, FEMA and Brunswick County but need an additional $15 million, plus a $5 million buffer to make up for the higher cost of materials and any incidentals.

Boiling Spring Lakes resident Walter Sexton said the dam restoration is necessary.
“I think the lake is critical to the community, I think restoring the lake is very much top priority,” he said. “I think at this point in time, most people would appreciate what could be done to achieve that goal.”

Andrews empathizes with frustrated residents. A project of this size has several steps of approval. “This is a $52 million project, it’s very complicated,” he said. “We’ve had to deal with a great number of federal and state agencies that we needed to seek approval from.”

An environmental assessment and public notice period on the Dam Restoration Project ends August 14.

The engineering firm McGill Associates won the design bid and will present the final plans on September 15.

The firm will also be available answer questions from the public.

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