Sumter County Council approved third and final reading of an ordinance to create a special tax district that will allow the residents of Boyle Pond to rebuild the dam after it was damaged during the 1,000-year flood in 2015.
Prior to its vote, …
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Prior to its vote, council heard from two county residents who spoke in favor of and against the ordinance.
Frank Robinson, a resident of Tanglewood Road whose home was flooded after Boyle Pond dam broke, asked if the Boyle Pond HOA, which owns the dam, would get insurance in case the dam broke after it is rebuilt.
Robinson said he lost his house and two vehicles because of the flood.
There was no warning when the dam broke, and there were two elderly residents in the neighborhood who needed to be rescued from their flooded home, he said.
Why rebuild the dam if there would be a threat to life if it breaks again, he asked.
Robinson said he understands that the Boyle Pond homeowners want their property values to increase by rebuilding the dam but wants homeowners in other areas to be considered in the decision.
There's no other way to afford to pay to rebuild the dam, said Henry Veatch, a resident of Boyle Pond. It's an eyesore, he said.
Rebuilding the dam will cost about $650,000 - $30,000 per homeowner over a 30-year period - and the HOA would get the insurance it is legally required to have, he said.
The dam will be rebuilt to hopefully prevent what happened in 2015, Veatch said.
According to the ordinance, Sumter County is only obligated to collect the tax for the special district and deliver it to the HOA which will use the money to pay off a Small Business Administration Loan to fix the dam.
It is under no obligation to supplement money to the HOA if the residents do not pay their taxes.
Councilwoman Vivian Fleming-McGhaney said residents near the pond and local officials should look into resources that could protect homeowners from extreme costs if another severe weather event were to happen.
In other news, council approved a proclamation to name April Fair Housing Month.
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