Manager Updates Council On Completing Lake Dredging Project

A $2.7 million dollar project to dredge the Carolina Beach Lake to hold additional storm water runoff began in 2017. On August 29th, the U.S. Army demanded the Town stop hauling dirt to land leased to the Town since the 1970's for a wastewater treatment plant off Dow Road.  The Town was placing the dirt at an unapproved location on the property. Now the Town is searching for alternate locations. (Photo: Summer of 2017). A $2.7 million dollar project to dredge the Carolina Beach Lake to hold additional storm water runoff began in 2017. On August 29th, the U.S. Army demanded the Town stop hauling dirt to land leased to the Town since the 1970's for a wastewater treatment plant off Dow Road. The Town was placing the dirt at an unapproved location on the property. Now the Town is searching for alternate locations. (Photo: Summer of 2017).

Manager Updates Council On Completing Lake Dredging Project Featured

By / Local News / الأربعاء, 13 حزيران/يونيو 2018 13:18

By WILLARD KILLOUGH III
Managing Editor

CAROLINA BEACH - Carolina Beach Town Manager Michael Cramer updated the Town Council on Monday June 11th, regarding the status of completing a project to dredge the Carolina Beach Lake.

Dredging was suspended August 29th, 2017 when the U.S. Army demanded the Town stop hauling dirt to land leased to the Town since the 1970's for a wastewater treatment plant off Dow Road.  The Town was placing the dirt at an unapproved location on the property. Now the Town is searching for alternate locations.

The Council held a workshop on April 24th to discuss the future of the $2.7 million dollar project to finish dredging the Carolina Beach Lake as well as the cost of disposing of material already removed from the Lake being held on Army property off Dow Road. The Town Council voted unanimously to terminate a contract with Civil Works Contracting to dredge the lake  during their December 12th, meeting.

In October the Town was notified that owners of one alternate location changed their minds about taking on the material following soil tests which showed higher levels of arsenic. That land is located north of Snow's Cut Bridge in the undeveloped portion  of a new residential neighborhood.

During the April 24th, meeting the Council wanted more detailed information on options ranging from leaving the remaining material in the lake, finishing the project, and exploring the use of Town land located north of Snow's Cut Bridge off River Road behind property owned by the U.S. Coast Guard. That plan would require building a road across the Coast Guard property to access the Town's property.

Cramer said he would return with additional info and figures later this summer.

The goal of the project was to make the lake deeper to a consistent depth of 6' to 8' feet and improve capacity to hold approximately 16 million gallons of storm water runoff that has traditionally caused flooding of surrounding properties and roadways. The total volume to be removed from the lake was estimated to be approximately 83,000 cubic yards of material. The original completion date for the project was scheduled for February 9th, 2018. When the project was suspended August 29th, the contractor had removed approximately 30,000 cubic yards of material to the wastewater treatment plant.

On Monday June 11th, Cramer updated Council explaining that in April the Council gave him direction to research completing the project and removing the remaining soil from the lake.

Cramer explained, "That option suggested that the cost of such a project would be between $2.2 million and $4 million dollars depending on the location we dispose of the soil. Council also directed that I discuss this option with some contractors and develop a revised budget that may be closer to the true cost of the project. This has not been an easy task. Contractors are reluctant to give us any budget or order of magnitude numbers for the project. Primarily the reasoning involved not knowing the terms and conditions for the contract, the reduction in volume, the change in the disposal site and hauling requirements, and the additional work of constructing an access road and the clearing and grading required to prepare the disposal site which was not part of the original project. These are all items that need to be solidified before we can produce a formal bid."



He explained, "It would seem the most accurate information we have right now are the previous bids. [Above] are the per cubic yard costs that we received during our previous bidding process.  We have approximately 50,480 cubic yards of material to remove from the lake."

He explained, "We have received one estimate from another contractor that suggested a $36.00 cubic yard cost.  Please keep in mind that these costs do not include building the access road, clearing or grubbing the property, permits, surveying or engineering required for the disposal site. I have requested some budget numbers for building the access road and clearing and grubbing the property and should have those numbers soon.  Permits is expected to cost $5,000 and the survey and engineering work for the entire project is anticipated at $115,000."

Cramer explained, "Following the April 24th workshop, I sent the Environmental Report for the town owned property behind the US Coast Guard LORAN station to the Coast Guard and requested an easement through their property to our property. The Coast Guard will not give a permanent easement across their property, but are willing to give a temporary access for the project.  The access easement would be approximately 2,800 feet long and 50 ft wide.  In this easement the town would need to develop a road to transport trucks to our property.  The access road would be approximately 20 ft wide and will require some fence and gate installation as required by the Coast Guard.  I have contacted our Coast Guard representative weekly since sending the required documents to them for review.  The report has been forwarded on to their environmental division for review and approval.  The environmental division has no specific timeline for when the review may be complete, but I have stressed the urgency of the situation.  Once the environmental review is complete the easement may need to be surveyed, easement documents will need to be drafted and signed by both parties.  As soon as we get a tentative approval from the Coast Guard we can contract with SEPI Engineering to begin the surveying of our property to determine the exact amount of material that could be placed on site and  develop the permits required to permit the facility."

He explained, "It is at this point we will have enough information to update the plans and specs and go out for formal bids.  Right now we are at the mercy of the Coast Guard and their timelines.  There is one way that I could expedite the project.  I could contract with SEPI to perform the survey work related to the easement and our property before we get approval from the Coast Guard. That is risky, since we will be spending funds on a location that we might not get access too. However, if we don’t get a formal bid out in July and get return bids by August it will be unlikely we will be able to get the project moving in November. If I contract with SEPI it will cost approximately $37,785, which would come out of the $1,458,898 remaining for the project."

Cramer asked Council members to give him feedback on how to proceed and explained, "Although we are not able to get solid numbers from the contractors, I think it is important that we spend the $37,785 on the surveying, engineers and bid spec prep now so that we do not continue to slow down the project."
During the Council's Tuesday June 12th, meeting, Council requested Cramer bring the issue to their June 24th, workshop meeting to examine the costs and hold a public hearing at their July regular meeting.

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