BRUNSWICK COUNTY, NC (WECT) – Residents in Boiling Spring Lakes have expressed frustrations with flooding in city drainage ditches and water level issues along Spring Lake for months.
Leaders gathered Monday morning to address those concerns. Officials talked about engineering proposals to deal with flooding problems along Holly, Crabapple and Trevino Roads and to also look at water level issues along the lake.
While commissioners agree that something needs to be done to address these problems, Commissioner David Putnam expressed his financial concerns with the project.
"I understand the legitimacy of why we want to do it," said Putnam. "It's still $38,000. Are we willing to go ahead and say we would spend the money?"
Town leaders decided to split the project into three different areas for study. The estimate it will cost $21,800 to study Holly and Crabapple Roads; $17,800 to study Trevnio Road; and about $7,500 for the Spring Lake level.
The board has requested price quotes from the Wooten Group and Sungate Norris Construction in regards to the project.
Ricky Rigg, who lives on Holly Road, is happy to see the government finally taking steps to help the ongoing issue, but is annoyed with the lengthy process of moving forward.
"I've been around for 67 years and I know how government works," said Rigg. "I'm glad to see they're going to finally come in to help but it's just like anything in government, it takes a lot of time and that's frustrating."
The board is expected to vote on an engineering firm during its next meeting in February and the engineering study work would not begin until this spring.
Residents in Boiling Spring Lakes, however, can't seem to agree when it comes to the water level of Spring Lake.
Roughly six months ago, town leaders decided to add a new piece of equipment, called an "elbow" to the pipe on Spring Lake which slows the drainage process along the lake.
Some folks say the water is too low and not reaching the plants and flowers along the lake, while others say the water is too high and destroying peoples yards.
During the special meeting on Monday, people on both sides of the debate spoke up with their concerns.
Putnam made a motion to install two new pipes with elbows to allow the water from Spring Lake to lower faster, in addition to the installation of a tamperproof stakes in the beaver fence to monitor the levels of the lake.
Town Manager Jeff Repp wasn't fully on board with the idea, citing erosion runoff or drainage issues.
"I think you should allow engineers to study this," said Repp. "You are going to need to know your legal liability when you start changing the status quo."
BSL Public works director, Larry Modlin says making changes is a difficult task because of the shape of the land.
"We are going to end up spending $7,500 and we need to have someone come in and look at this before we pull the trigger on the gun," said Modlin. "You can keep increasing but you don't have much to play with."
Mayor Craig Caster believes this is an issue that needs more discussion before taking action. He addressed Putnam's motion first hand.
"I have never once, in my eight years as a commissioner, had a problem with Spring Lake until we put a pipe elbow on," explained Caster. "I think that was a mistake. But I would recommend that you recall your motion and that we do talk about engineering studies before we get the city in trouble."
Putnam eventually amended his motion and made another motion to raise the levels of the lake by an additional three inches. The rest of the board shot down that idea, quickly, with the understanding that they would wait for recommendations from the engineering firm after their study is complete.
In the end, the board voted to install the tamperproof stakes to monitor the lake's water levels.
The city will not make any changes to the levels of the lake until after an engineering study is complete.