Frustrated neighbors threaten to file lawsuit against city - WECT TV6-WECT.com:News, weather & sports Wilmington, NC

Frustrated neighbors threaten to file lawsuit against city

A group of frustrated citizens in Boiling Spring Lakes is threatening to sue the city over water levels. A group of frustrated citizens in Boiling Spring Lakes is threatening to sue the city over water levels.

BOILING SPRING LAKES, NC (WECT) – A group of frustrated citizens in Boiling Spring Lakes is threatening to sue the city over water levels.

Some homeowners have reported standing water in their yards, but they say the city has done nothing to help. One group of people says they've had enough.

It's an issue that has been causing controversy between neighbors for months. Some say the levels are too high, others say the levels are too low. One group is so frustrated; they plan to take the city to court.

Ed Wilkie has lived along Spring Lake for 15 years.

"My wife and I sit out on the patio and all you can hear is a few crickets and the ducks," said Wilkie.

Lately, something has been bugging him – he says the high water levels are ruining his back yard and he's blaming city leaders.

"I can't believe the stupidity at town hall," said Wilkie. "We've got people elected at town hall that hadn't got since enough to come in out of the rain!"

Earlier this year, city workers installed a piece of equipment called an "elbow," to regulate the water levels of Spring Lake. However, many folks, including Wilkie, have complained that the "elbow" doesn't allow the pipes to drain enough water, causing their yards to flood. Since June, the city has voted to keep the equipment in place three separate times.

"We mean absolutely nothing to them," said Wilkie. "We're nothing but cash cows for them to collect tax revenue and we're supposed to keep our mouths shut? We're not going to do it, enough is enough."

Wilkie and the Spring Lake Homeowners Association plan to file a lawsuit against the city for "inverse condemnation."

"[The city] has violated my Fifth Amendment rights," said Wilkie. "They have taken my property without compensating me and the other homeowners."

Wilkie says nothing will stop the case from going to court, unless the city fixes the problem for good.

"[Explicit] or get off the pot," said Wilkie. "It doesn't matter to me, but that elbow is coming off and this lake is going back to where it was. It might not be today or tomorrow, but it's going back unless this town wants to get sued."

The city manager compiled a list of engineers to study the problem, but the board did not vote to hire one. When asked about the possibility of facing a lawsuit, the city had no comment.

Copyright 2013 WECT. All rights reserved.

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