The failed Hope Mills dam currently has part of the wall torn down to prevent further erosion from a leak under the dam
HOPE MILLS, N.C. -
The lake restoration advisory committee for the Town of Hope Mills met for the first time Tuesday night.
The goal for the committee of citizens is to figure out the best way to restore the town's centerpiece lake after a dam failure in 2010 drained it.
The committee members will research if the dam should be repaired or replaced. They will also consider what type of dam they think would work best. Their recommendations would then go to the town's Board of Commissioners for consideration.
Currently the lake bed is mostly dry and overgrown, with just the Little Rockfish Creek going through it.
The problem goes back to Memorial Day weekend in 2003 when the 79-year-old earthen dam failed. After five years the lake was refilled with the new concrete dam in place, but after less than two years, it failed.
Following that failure in 2010, the town has sued the companies that designed and built the damn. Town leaders hope that to nce the lawsuit is worked out, the advisory committee will have completed enough research to have a lake restoration plan ready.
For lakefront homeowner Tiffany Horne who has been keeping her boat in the front driveway for two years, it sounds like at least some way to speed up the process.
"I hope that we can get some good options in place so when we're ready to roll we can get it made – get it done,"Horne said. "The main issue I would be concerned with is can they agree. That seems to be the running trend. There's so many – it's so dysfunctional."
She also pointed out that the lake is not just a concern for homeowners along the lake. Many people access the water from the town's public park and boat ramp. That lakeside park is also home to many of the town's public events.
"Although small, it's still awell utilized area that the whole community can't enjoy anymore," Horne said.
The committee will meet regularly to discuss options, and they could have until July when the lawsuit is scheduled to go to trial if there is no settlement.
Brandon is a North Carolina native and UNC alum who lives in Fayetteville, and covers Cumberland County and the Sandhills. Returning to North Carolina to work as a journalist is a dream come true for Brandon.More>>