LGC approves $20 million bond passed by Boiling Spring Lakes voters for dam repairs

RALEIGH, NC (WWAY) — Another hurdle has been crossed in the effort to restore dams and roads destroyed by Hurricane Florence in Boiling Spring Lakes.

On Tuesday, the Local Government Commission voted to approve a request from the city to issue $20 million in general obligation bonds. City Commissioners will use the money to repair and build four dams and a road damaged in 2018.

Voters approved the bonds by referendum on November 8. The total cost is estimated at nearly $57 million, with other funds coming from a Federal Emergency Management Agency reimbursement, Department of Defense grant, and appropriations from the General Assembly and Brunswick County.

“It’s really the city’s identity. It’s in our name. It’s our heritage,” City Manager Gordon Hargrove said of the now dry lakes and the need to rebuild Sanford Dam, Patricia Lake Upper Dam, Pine Lake Dam and North Lake Dam, and repair Dam Road. The dam network is a community safety feature.

“Like most coastal communities, we’re at the edge of the earth, therefore we all have stormwater issues. So reimpounding these dams will help us control our stormwater,” Hargrove said. The dam levels will be sequenced so they will be able to control lake levels for future severe weather events.

According to a news release, the dams also provide economic vitality to the town through recreational opportunities such as fishing, boating, jet skiing and water skiing. They serve an environmental purpose by increasing aquatic habitat for waterfowl and alligators.

“You’re going to have more people coming in using the lakes, so there will be an economic impact to the local businesses. They’ll be buying supplies, and gasoline, and everything you need to come out to the lakes,” Hargrove said.

The LGC’s approval for Boiling Spring Lakes to issue the bonds was required because the commission has a statutory duty to approve most debt issued by units of local government and public authorities in the state.

The commission examines whether the amount of money that units borrow is adequate and reasonable for proposed projects and confirms the governmental units can reasonably afford to repay the debt. It also monitors the financial well-being of more than 1,100 local government units.


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