BSL faces lawsuit over water levels; engineer report released - WECT TV6-WECT.com:News, weather & sports Wilmington, NC

BSL faces lawsuit over water levels; engineer report released

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Not only is the city now faced with pending litigation, but also a list of recommendations from a professional engineer on what to do about the lake moving forward. Not only is the city now faced with pending litigation, but also a list of recommendations from a professional engineer on what to do about the lake moving forward.
BOILING SPRING LAKES, NC (WECT) -

A Boiling Spring Lakes resident is suing the city over the water levels at Spring Lake.

Not only is the city now faced with pending litigation, but also a list of recommendations from a professional engineer on what to do about the lake moving forward.

It's been an ongoing controversy for almost a year. Some say the water levels are too high and impede on personal property. While homeowners on the other side of the lake say the water levels are too low and should be raised.

Lawsuit

Ed Wilkie, who has lived along the lake for 15 years, said he's so frustrated that now he has filed a lawsuit against the city for "inverse condemnation."

Wilkie said the equipment used to manage the lake levels isn't doing its job, causing his yard to flood. 

He claims the raised water levels have flooded his yard, taking away the value of his property and he has not been compensated by the town.

Wilkie said he plans to take the city to court, unless they vote to fix the problems for good.

Neither Wilkie, his attorney, or the City of Boiling Spring Lakes would comment on the pending lawsuit.

Engineer report

 

The city recently invested more than $10,000 to hire an engineer to study the water level issues and drainage problems at Spring Lake.

On Tuesday night Henry Wells, of Sungate Design Group, released the findings of their study which details the impacts of increased discharge on downstream properties for the City of Boiling Spring Lakes.

Wells said the purpose of study was to determine elevation studies and how they've changed since the 1930s.

The report states that five properties along the lake were affected more than others.

Due to varying depth ranges, the engineer's report said the lake is, in fact, encroaching on property that the town does not own.

Wells also said that a recently installed "elbow" on a drainage pipe was not allowing excess water to drain from the lake quickly enough.

The report recommended the level of the lake be reduced by five and a half inches, to the original level that it was before the "elbow" was installed back in July 2013.

Wells said that it appears the current level of the lake could be maintained, but there is no historical data to be sure.

Based on the report, Wells said that no sinkhole activity had been reported with the lake at its original level; however, he said that increasing the elevation of the lake may increase the loading on the bed of the lake, thereby increasing the likelihood of the formation of a sinkhole.

Finally, Wells suggested that the town should add one additional 15" pipe to drawdown Spring Lake more efficiently.

When it was time for public comment residents spoke out on both sides of the issue. Some just asked the Board of Commissioners to use caution when moving forward.

"Some people are going to be mad about it, some will be happy about it," said Hank Troscianiec. "I just urge that the board think about it and compile all the reports before making a decision that will affect these people."

The Board of Commissioners did not take action at its meeting on Tuesday night. A secondary engineer report is expected to be published in the following weeks to come.

Commissioners will reconvene during a special meeting on June 16 at 6:30 for further discussion on this issue and a possible vote on the engineer's recommendations.

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