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Berkeley Lake to hold bond referendum in March

BERKELEY LAKE — City council members voted Thursday to adopt a resolution to hold a bond referendum on March 15. Voters will decide on what terms (number of years) to pay off a $2.8 million bond necessary for repairs to the compromised Lake Berkeley Dam.

Engineers working on providing information about dam repairs to FEMA estimate that it will take about $4 million for the entire repair project. FEMA has agreed to pay a portion of the $4 million, and city engineer Rich Edinger has been working to provide further information to FEMA in an attempt to convince the agency to help with as much of the repair as possible. FEMA will pay for repairs that can be proven to be a result of the historic floods of 2009.

Berkeley Lake officials have maintained all along that more of the damage than minimal surface evidence is directly attributable to the record-breaking 2009 rains. FEMA has stated from the beginning that the agency is under a mandate to repair only the damage that results from a natural disaster.

According to Mayor Lois Salter in her Dec. 16 message to council, the city can expect to know by the end of January whether FEMA will reconsider its original offer to pay about $500,000 toward the critical repairs.

A formal call for election will be issued a month prior to the March 15 referendum.

Special-called meeting for budget adoption

A special-called city council meeting has been scheduled for 7 p.m. Jan. 3 at city hall. The proposed 2011 budget was put on second read at Thursday’s council meeting, but a vote on adopting the budget will be held on Jan. 3.

Budget adoption, committee and board appointments and any other business that comes before council will be considered at the special-called meeting.