Saturday, February 4, 2023

Halfway through lake dredging project Carolina Beach suspends work after MOTSU misunderstanding

The Town of Carolina Beach ran into trouble with MOTSU for depositing spoils from the lake dredging project on its property (Port City Daily photo/FILE)
The Town of Carolina Beach ran into trouble with MOTSU for depositing spoils from the lake dredging project on its property (Port City Daily photo / FILE)

CAROLINA BEACH — The Town of Carolina Beach has once again found itself at odds with the Military Ocean Terminal at Sunny Point (MOSTU) after a misunderstanding that led to the town depositing spoils from lake dredging on MOTSU property.

This is not the first time Carolina Beach has had to answer to MOTSU. In July, the Town Council voted to approve a budget amendment for $186,000 to bring an end to a four-year environmental impact study after the town used the property for fleet maintenance, and pollution was found in the groundwater.

“On Aug. 29, we were alerted to a misunderstanding with MOTSU. Previously, in 2013 the town had received authorization to take the spoils from the lake dredging and place them on MOTSU property at our wastewater treatment plant,” Town Manager Michael Cramer said during a Town Council meeting.

The problems arose when the town, which had told MOTSU they would fill in an old EQ basin with the dredging spoils, and then later decided not to fill the basin, utilizing it instead.

“In 2015 we brought the council a recommendation that we really needed, for the sake of having a backup system to our wastewater treatment plant, to go ahead and rehab that old EQ system,” Cramer said.

While MOTSU approved the change of plans in 2015, the town did not resubmit plans to MOSTU regarding the new location for the dredge spoils.

The Carolina Beach Lake Dredging Project began in March. According to the town’s website, “This project is an essential step we have to take to manage and preserve this natural resource our community enjoys.  This area benefits the town as a scenic park that our community and visitors enjoy all year round.  It is also home and a habitat to fish and wildlife.  Finally, the lake is extremely important as a stormwater management and flood control system for the community.”

The town had planned for the dredging projects completion by the end of the year. At the time of the council meeting, Cramer said they were about halfway through the dredging, but did not know how long it would take to work with MOTSU to resolve the issue.

The contractor preforming the dredging services was requested to suspend its services until a solution was presented.


Michael Praats can be reached at Michael.p@localvoicemedia.com

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