Dam Project

October 2022

The Canvasback Lake dam repair is complete! NC Dam Safety gave final approval to impound the lake and it’s almost full!. It’s taken much longer than any of us expected, but it’s done, and our beautiful lake is once again available for recreation.

You’ve probably noticed the overgrowth of vegetation in the shallower areas of the lake. According to Phyllis Smith of the NC Cooperative Extension Service, we don’t need to worry that this is harmful to the lake. We have a choice of allowing these areas to become marshy or treat the vegetation with herbicides that won’t hurt fish, fowl or any other animals. Actually, marshy areas are good for the ecosystem of the lake providing nutrients, additional oxygen and habitats for the fish.

Ms. Smith also recommended having the water and soil tested for all three lakes to determine general health as well as viability for fish. Canvasback Lake tested too low in alkalinity and will be treated with lime to balance the pH so that we can restock the fish.

More about maintenance of our lakes in the near future.

July 2022

The Canvasback Lake dam project is nearly complete…and no one wants the project done more than me! This past week the final grading was completed. The last step to completion was installation of the Enkamat on the emergency spillway and in the common element area between the Bright and Fischer houses. However, there still needs to be a few tweaks to the stainless-steel tower and main valve at the dam.

The biggest hurdle at this point will be waiting for Dam Safety to inspect and approve the dam. It is out of our hands and at the mercy of State Government. As to how long it will take to refill the lake, this is completely up to Mother Nature. Several good rains could speed up the process, but it will likely take several months.

Many thanks to Temp Elliott for helping me keep an eye on the progress of the project.

April 2022

Phase 1 has been completed. The main outflow pipe has been installed and a concrete bed cradles the pipe. The notch in the dam has been filled in with soil. The height of the dam has been restored.

Here is a link to some photos.


Dam Project Update – Phase 2 is half completed. These photos show the new plunge pool. The pool was dug out, lined with heavy duty fabric ($1,000/roll) and lined with ballast (stone). The next step in phase 2 is to run pipe from the plunge pool and connect to the pipe coming out of the dam. There will be another concrete box poured to complete the joining of the lower pipe. Here is a link to some photos.


March 2022 Construction Began

March 2021

Depending on who you talk to, the Dam Project has been a fiasco for the last 15 to 20 years. We finally received written approval on Feb 27, 2021. Even that was a challenge as the date of written approval was on January 29, 2021. It sat on somebody’s desk for another month.

Our engineer is working on a bid package to submit to contractors. We are hoping to receive various bids over the next 30 to 45 days.

The Board is now seriously researching lending institutions for a loan on behalf of MLA to pay for the project. I want to thank Rich Buchanan for the ground work he has done over the past year working towards obtaining a loan.

As we learn more information and progress, I will continue to update our residents. In the next couple months a meeting for all homeowners will be scheduled at which explanations of the dam project and loan will be discussed. We will answer questions and then conduct a by-mail referendum vote. All current homeowners will be contacted as 2/3rds approval of the referendum is required.

Depending on how smoothly this process occurs and timing of a loan, our engineer said we could break ground by June 1, 2021. I am not sure that is a realistic date, but we will definitely break ground in 2021. Stay tuned.

September 2020

I just spoke with JT Grimes. Dam Safety is reviewing our plans. They have called for additional hydraulic modeling data on the emergency spillway. JT is working on this and will submit additional data to Dam Safety in a few days. He feels an approval will come after this new data has been submitted.

I have spoken this week with our engineer. He informed me that no one has been assigned to review our plans but he did call Dam Safety in Raleigh and request the best reviewer to review our plans. It is anyone’s guess as to when this process will be completed. Hopefully we will learn something within the next two weeks. Our project is formally out for bids and I will keep everyone informed as this plays out. If anyone has any questions on the project, I will try to answer them for you.

Dennis Ford

Project Chairman

June 2020

The engineer has completed the plans and specs. Everything has been submitted to Dam Safety on June 18, 2020. We expect a turnaround of the plans in 45-90 days. Any required revisions would be made immediately and resubmitted and out of review within two weeks. The engineer said we can begin the bid process with several contractors subject to any final revisions. It should take 3 to 4 weeks in the bid process. The construction start date based on this information could be late September to mid-November. The project is expected to take three (3) months barring major weather events. According to a contractor that we met, the lake will not have to be drained completely. A Cofferdam will leave about 10 feet of water in the lake. The fish and other aquatic life will remain in the lake. The Cofferdam will be constructed to control the water flow during slip lining.

April 2020 

The engineering process continues to move forward on the Canvasback and Teal Lakes dam projects. The lead engineer is working on the plan, but is about 2 weeks behind due to Covid-19. He will send all preliminary documents and reports for the Board to review prior to sending to Dam Safety Board in Raleigh and is optimistic about a 90 day turnaround for approval. Once we hear back from Dam Safety with acceptance or changes, then we will get the finalized reports and documents with the engineer’s seal and signature. In an effort to mitigate the increasing cost of the project from the currently projected $500,000 estimate, the engineer has been told to start getting bids the day he forwards the preliminary reports and documents to me.

March 2020

Our engineer JT is running about 2 weeks behind due to Covid-19. He said he will be sending us all preliminary documents and reports for us to look over prior to sending to Dam Safety. Then if there is anything that needs tweaking or changing, we can do that prior to submitting. Once we hear back from Dam Safety with acceptance or changes, then we will get the finalized reports and documents with his seal and signature. We told him to start getting bids the day he forwards the preliminary reports and documents to us.

February 2020

Before our February meeting, our engineer presented a preliminary plan to the board. He will have the finished plan with two options to submit to Dam Safety within the next 60-90 days. The reason he will be submitting 2 options for approval is to give us latitude to pick the less expensive option. We are hoping for a 60 to 90 day turnaround for approval of the plans from Dam Safety. During this time frame we will send out the finished approved plans for bid to contractors. Our engineer said that September, October and November are the best weather months for construction. Construction will take three to four months however he did say if pressed a contractor could conceivably get it done in 45 days.

January 2020

According to our engineer JT, he expects to have conceptual drawings of the dam design by the end of January. He feels at that time we could also have an updated cost estimate provided by a contractor. By the end of February or beginning of March JT expects to have the completed drawings ready for approval by the Board. After we look over the plans and approve them, they will be submitted to the Dam Safety Board. JT is expecting a 90 – 120 day turnaround for approval. During this time JT will be posting our work for bids with various contractors. If all goes well, we are looking at possible construction by fall of this year. JT feels that fall will be the best time for construction for a project of our size.

October 2019

The engineering process is moving forward. Over the next several weeks, the geotech firm will be taking soil samples. The lead engineer is working on a plan to submit to the Dam Safety Board in Raleigh. We are hoping to have a plan submitted by December. The engineer is hoping that some construction work could start over the winter. This would be work on the outflow pipe which is compromised and failing but not yet deemed an emergency. The face of Teal Lake will also need some repairs. We will be addressing that issue as well. As we get further into the design phase, I will keep everyone informed