Property owners on Ledbetter Lake said progress on the repair of Ledbetter Dam is moving forward.
According to Frank Parker, money in the ballpark of $42,000 has been raised among lake property owners to assist the owners of the dam, Dean Brooks of R.E.C. LLC in Goldston (a hydroelectric power generation company), and his hired engineer, in bringing the dam up to state recommended inspection levels in order to fill the lake with water once more.
Parker called a meeting at McDonald Baptist Church on McDonald Church Road in Rockingham a week ago, where owners of homes on the Ledbetter Lake met, filling the fellowship hall. They were expecting to hear from the owners of the dam, which has been under surveillance after a leak caused Emergency Management to contact the owners about a potentially dangerous situation last July. Brooks appeared before the land owners, and spoke about the issues he was having repairing the dam.
Brooks said after being notified by the state that the dam would need repairs and the lake would need to be lowered, he began searching for an engineer to evaluate the dam. He hired Engineer Paul Cyr of Design Kleinschmidt Associates, who Brooks said is one of the country’s best concrete dam specialists.
Brooks explained that he received a letter from the NC Department of Environmental and Natural Resources Division of Energy, Mineral and Land Resources Land Quality Section listing six items that needed to be addressed in the dam’s repair.
“Cyr goes through the six items, gets them fixed and the state just shot it down,” said Brooks, who said the state then added two more items to the list.
Brooks said his company couldn’t afford to fix the dam, and met with a few individuals privately to discuss how to proceed.
“We let the engineer know the funds are available,” said Parker this week. “This engineer is actively working. He’s going to meet the requirements and the deadlines, as far as what Dean Brooks was addressing.”
Parker, one of the first landowners of Ledbetter Lake, said he is “surprised (with) the energy from the land owners.”
“We do not want to take a dime from the state and this lake is privately owned; there is no state property here,” said Parker. “I’ve been here all my life. I was born here and I’m going to have my ashes spread here.”
Parker said the deadline for finishing work is March 15.
“He is definitely a competent engineer, I don’t see any reason he couldn’t do it,” said Brad Cole, regional engineer of the NCDENR Land Quality Division, regarding Cyr.
Cole said although he has not worked with the engineer he is aware of his reputation. “… I do know he’s a knowledgeable engineer. It appears he will continue on as planned. He agreed to our schedule,” said Cole.
Cole said he granted a 60-day extension to Brooks.
“Every indication on our end looks like everything is going as planned,” said Cole. “Brooks is doing what he was supposed to do. Our office has been pleased with his progress.”
— Staff Writer Dawn M. Kurry can be reached at 910-997-3111, ext. 15, or by email at email@example.com.