Up & Coming Weekly

January 29, 2019

Up and Coming Weekly is a weekly publication in Fayetteville, NC and Fort Bragg, NC area offering local news, views, arts, entertainment and community event and business information.

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Page 19 of 28

JANUARY 30-FEBRUARY 5, 2019 UCW 19 WWW.UPANDCOMINGWEEKLY.COM Hope Mills News & Views The Hope Mills Lake dam survived visits from two hurricanes this past year with one minor exception. The eel ladder, which allows American eels to gain access to Hope Mills Lake, suffered damage to a device known as the attractor pump. Now it's time for town officials to begin the work of having the pump repaired and put back in working order. The attractor pump is located on the downstream side of the creek bed near the base of the dam. Don Sisko, who heads the public works depart - ment for the town of Hope Mills, said it's directly below the two depressed soil areas on the side of the dam near Main Street. "You can't see the pump unless the water is real - ly low,'' Sisko said. "The only thing you see is the eel ladder and some piping that runs off the pump that dumps near the water surface to provide the splash for the attractor.'' It's that splashing water the pump creates that draws eels to the ladder so they can access the lake. The season for eel migration begins March 15, so Sisko is hopeful work on the pump can be com - pleted well in advance of that date. Sisko said a local contractor has already been on- site to assess the damage done to the wiring for the pump. The contractor also looked at any changes that need to be made to better safeguard the wiring so more damage isn't done to it in the future. In addition, the contractor looked over the loca - tion to see what will be required to gain safe access to the pump and actually perform the repairs. Sisko said he's not sure how long the work to repair the pump's wiring will take. "I've never been involved in pump repair in a running creek,'' he said. But he added this isn't an overly complex job and it can be performed by any competent electri - cal contractor. "It's not astrophysics,'' he said. "It's pretty basic work.'' Because the damage to the pump's wiring was a direct result of the hurricane that struck Hope Mills, Sisko said the town is eligible to get money to pay for the repairs from the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Sisko said he doesn't know if the ongoing partial shutdown of the federal govern - ment will cause any delay in Hope Mills being able to get that money, though. As for the dam itself, Sisko said representatives of Schnabel Engineering, the company that built the restored dam, have visited the site for a post- hurricane inspection. Save for the damaged pump, he said, the Schnabel representatives saw no prob - lems with the structure. They will be returning in the near future for a scheduled periodic inspection. Sisko remains confident of the dam's status. "I tell folks that the dam was designed based on good science and built based on good construc - tion practices,'' he said. "There's no absolute guarantees, but if you do (build on good science and sound construction), you stand a very good chance. "It was our first hurricane with the dam. It got a lot of attention, but it withstood the weather, both literally and figuratively, and we're carrying on.'' Sisko felt the town's public works department handled the challenges of the dam's first hurricane well. "That's what we're here for,'' he said. "We're here to take care of the town, and we're going to continue doing that.'' Meetings For details about all meetings and activities, including location where not listed, call Town Clerk Jane Starling at 910-426-4113. Until the Parks and Recre- ation building has been repaired following damage from Hurricane Florence, some meetings may be moved to Luther Meeting Room at Town Hall at regular dates and times. ose meetings are noted with an asterisk below. • Board of Commissioners Monday, Feb. 4, 7 p.m., Luther Board Room, Town Hall • Historic Preservation Commission Wednesday, Feb. 13, Parks and Recre- ation Center* • Board of Commissioners Monday Feb. 18, Luther Meeting Room, Town Hall* • Parks and Recreation Committee Monday, Feb. 25, 6:30 p.m., Parks and Recreation Center* • Appearance Commission Tuesday, Feb. 26, 6:30 p.m., Parks and Recreation Center* • Veterans Affairs Commission ursday, Feb. 28, 7 p.m., Parks and Recre- ation Center* Activities For more information on these activities, contact Meghan Hawkins at 910-426-4109. • Hope Mills Area Kiwanis Club at Sammio's, second Tuesdays at noon and fourth Tuesdays at 6 p.m. For details, call 910-237-1240. Promote yourself Email hopemills@upandcomingweekly.com. CALENDAR Hope Mills working to repair damaged eel ladder by EARL VAUGHAN JR. NEWS The eel ladder and the damaged pump are below the general area of the open earth spots on the right side of the photo. The American eel uses the eel ladder at the Hope Mills dam to gain access to Hope Mills Lake.

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