VASS TOWNSHIP, North Carolina (WTVD) -- Here they go again: the maligned owners of the Woodlake Dam in Moore County are backed up on payments to make critical repairs in time for hurricane season.
Officials with the NC Department of Environmental Quality confirmed to the ABC11 I-Team that the Schanbel Engineering has pulled its representative from the project as the firm waits for Woodlake CC Corporation to pay up.
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A manager at Crowder Construction added that Woodlake had not yet executed a contract offered several weeks ago.
These latest setbacks put in peril Woodlake's adherence to a Moore County judge's order signed on March 15.
In a letter to the owners this week, North Carolina Assistant Attorney General Carolyn McLain threatened more legal action if the situation isn't resolved.
CLICK HERE TO READ THE LETTER (.pdf)
State officials demanded a temporary breach in the dam, thereby allowing a constant flow of water in the case of a major flooding event. The design could also leave a solid foundation to fully rebuild the dam in the future.
PREVIOUS STORY: State OKs temporary breach of Woodlake dam
The ABC11 I-Team, which uncovered a history of negligence and lack of enforcement leading to the dam's demise, has been tracking the saga through court documents and communications with state officials.
CLICK HERE TO READ A LETTER TO RESIDENTS
Under the terms of the order, Woodlake Corp. Vice President Julie Watson - and Woodlake's other primary owner, Illya Steiner of Hamburg, Germany - had until April 10 (25 days from March 15 to share with the NC Department of Environmental Quality firm engineering plans to build a temporary breach in the dam.
The DEQ rejected an earlier proposal submitted on April 10.
Officials concede this would not permanently fix the dam, but it does negate any danger should there be another major rain event in the near future. Construction on those must begin within 60 days (May 15) - and completed within 105 days (July 1), just in time for hurricane season.
READ THE APPROVAL LETTER FROM THE STATE (.pdf)
Also as part of the court order, Woodlake has been submitting weekly updates to state officials with documented progress. An email to the Department of Environmental Quality obtained by the I-Team, dated May 24, says "Dates for bid, preconstruction and construction meetings: Nothing significant to report."
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Woodlake Dam repair halts as owners miss payments