The latest schedule for the Boiling Spring Lakes dam restoration project given by City Manager David Andrews during the Oct. 5 Board of Commissioners meeting indicates the awarding of the construction contract on June 7, 2022, with completion of construction in June 2025. Water would be impounded thereafter.

The dams were destroyed by Hurricane Florence in September 2018, which drained Big Lake.

Andrews also talked about the property tax increase needed to cover the local share of $12 million in construction costs: an estimated 10-cent increase, which for a home valued at $200,000 is $17 monthly, $200 annually.

The $12 million USDA loan, at 2.25%, would be repaid over 40 years. State legislators have earmarked $12 million in the state budget to pay for the repairs but that budget is in negotiation with no guarantee the funds will be approved.

Andrews said some outstanding items should be finalized by December. The city plans to finish details of interim financing by March 31, 2022, and will issue a request for construction bids on April 1, 2022. The city will receive and review construction bids May 1-31 before awarding the contract June 7, 2022.

Present at the October meeting were Mayor Craig Caster and commissioners Tom Guzulaitis and Teagan Perry Hall. Commissioners Bill Clark and Dana Witt were excused.

Streambed project

The board approved a resolution authorizing implementation of the Streambed Restoration Project. Easements for some 55 properties have been obtained. However, access to the remaining properties is necessary. State law provides that municipalities may undertake such improvements on private property for the purpose of alleviating conditions that pose a threat to the health, safety and welfare of the community.

Police department

Commissioners awarded the contract for the design and construction of the BSL Police Department building at 3020 George II Highway to Studio 3 Architects (S3) and Samet Corp.

Interim financing is needed and the U.S. Department of Agriculture will provide long-term financing. The USDA must approve the design-build contract with S3 and Samet before the contract is executed. Interim interest expense is estimated to be $14,400. The terms of the long-term financing are expected to include an approximate interest rate of 2% with a 30-year amortization period.

If the city finances the total project cost of $1.2 million, the annual debt service will be about $50,000. Debt service will need to be included in the city’s 2022-23 budget.

Ordinance amended

Commissioners approved an ordinance amendment regulating streets and sidewalks.

It reads: “The city manager may, when in his judgment the occasion warrants, block off, or cause to be blocked off, any street or sidewalk, or any portion of any street, or sidewalk, and may allow obstructions on streets, or sidewalks, for such periods of time as, in his judgment, may be reasonably necessary.

“When any street, or portion of the same, is blocked off, it shall be lawful to place in the street, at or near the approaches to the blocked-off area, appropriate traffic-control devices indicating that such street, or portion thereof, is blocked off, and that motor vehicles shall not pass along such street past such traffic-control devices.”

Other business

In other business, commissioners took the following action:

• Appointed Kathy Curtis to the Parks & Recreation Advisory Board to the unexpired term ending July 7, 2023.

• Appointed Alfred “Chip” Hering to the Planning Board as second alternate to the unexpired term ending Jan. 7, 2022.

• Declared September as Preparedness Month in Boiling Spring Lakes and “encourages all citizens to prepare to protect their loved ones by developing an emergency plan, building an emergency kit and communicating their emergency plan to all members of their household or workplace.”

• Approved an ordinance amendment for lowering speed limits in the city.

It reads: “The speed limit for vehicular traffic upon city-owned public streets within the corporate limits shall be 25 miles per hour, unless otherwise posted. In those instances where speed limits other than 25 miles per hour are established, it shall be unlawful to operate a vehicle within the city at a speed in excess of the posted speed.”

The commissioners unanimously approved during their Sept. 7 meeting reducing vehicular traffic on all city-owned streets within city limits to 25 mph from 35 mph unless otherwise posted.

Briefs

• BSL Fire Rescue responded to 22 fire calls and 53 EMS calls in September.

• The fire department will have its annual barbecue plate sale Saturday, Oct. 23.

• A free concert will take place from 6-8 p.m. Friday, Oct. 29, at Spring Lake Park featuring the Parlay Band. The fire department will sell hamburgers and hot dogs.

• Parks and Recreation will hold Trunk or Treat from 5-7:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 30, at Spring Lake Park.

• The Special Events Committee has canceled the Fall Festival for this year because of the coronavirus. Special Events will do the tree lighting for the holidays. It has purchased new lights.

• A citizens forum will take place from 6-7 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 26, at City Hall. The mayor and commissioners are scheduled to be present.