Milton’s Shipbuilders Village flooding persists

November 2, 2009

Milton resident John Meade is enraged the Town of Milton has done nothing to alleviate flooding in Shipbuilders Village.

As Meade awoke to heavy rainfall Tuesday, Oct. 27, he said waters ran over the steps to his front door at 539 South Spinnaker Lane. Landscaping timbers again floated out of place, while town maintenance crews examined a pump that Meade says is insufficient. He said the single pump cannot handle water removal in the back of the housing development, which has routinely flooded for at least five years.

Milton Town Manager George Dickerson said the failure to obtain an easement leading to the abutting Holly Lake property is holding up the process. Dickerson said Milton Mayor Don Post and town attorney Mary Schrider-Fox have been working with Holly Lake property owner Charles Turner, and his Wilmington-based attorney Richard Rago, to secure the easement.

Calls to Rago were not returned at press time.

Dickerson also said town council will discuss the easement issue in executive session following a Monday, Nov. 2 town council meeting.

Dickerson noted residents’ frustration with the flooding. He also said excess water in the development has existed for at least 15 years – long before Post became mayor.

He also said former town attorney John Brady failed to apply for the easement because he assumed the town would dedicate the streets, but that never happened.

In May, Post sent a letter to residents indicating the flooding problem would be fixed by fall. Dickerson said town officials did not realize the easement issue was still pending when the letter was sent.

In the meantime, Dickerson said town officials installed a second pump Tuesday, Oct. 27, costing the town $1,500 to set up. Dickerson also said the town bought a $10,000 pump to help alleviate the problem.

“The easement. That has been the holdup,” said Dickerson.

For Meade, however, the second pump was not enough. Meade said whoever installed the second pump obstructed many resident’s driveways with a 6-inch hose to disperse the water.

“This is a joke. They’re putting Band-Aids on an artery wound,” he said.

“When you reach that capacity, there’s nowhere for the water to go,” said Dickerson. “I’m very sympathetic, and so is the mayor with regards to Shipbuilders. We are working to get the easement in place. It doesn’t matter what size pump you have there, Mother Nature overwhelms the drainage.”

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