NC Representatives Jamie Boles and Allen McNeill, and Senator Tom McInnis introduced a bill last week regarding Woodlake Community in Moore County. Senate Bill 190 is titled “Expand Special Assessments for Dam Repair.”
“This bill will allow the voters of the Woodlake community to hold a referendum in order to decide if they would like to create a fee district that would generate the necessary funds to repair the Woodlake dam,” said McInnis in a Thursday press release. “This is the beginning of a long and complex transaction that will involve the cooperation of the Woodlake community and the county commissioners. The most important part of this proposed legislation is the fact that the citizens outside of the Woodlake community would not be obligated for the debt that would be required to make this important repair to the dam possible.”
“This legislation is an attempt to bring some relief to those negatively impacted by the condition of the Woodlake dam,” said Boles.
Woodlake Dam has been deteriorating over past years because substantial repairs approved by the N.C. Department of Environmental Quality had not been addressed by the dam owner. The structure was further compromised during flooding caused by Hurricane Matthew in early October 2016.
Following inspection of the dam at that time, dam safety officials issued an order requiring Woodlake CC Corp. to make repairs to the dam. However, the company failed to comply with the order to make the necessary repairs, which resulted in the state taking enforcement action by issuing an emergency declaration in June 2017 with plans to breach Woodlake Dam to ensure the safety of downstream communities.
A judge ordered the owners of the dam to pay the state $1.1 million because of the breach.
Photo courtesy of the state of North Carolina