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Second Appeal Summary
PA ID# 047-66520; Town of Tabor City
DSR ID# 26942; Lake Tabor Dam
Citation: FEMA-1134-DR-NC, PA 047-66520, DSR 26942 Town of Tabor City.
Cross Reference: Lake Tabor Dam, legal responsibility, Hurricane FRAN, FEMA-1134-DR
Summary: During Hurricane Fran, rainfall intensity for the area of Lake Tabor surpassed 100-year storm levels several times. The spillways were inadequate to discharge the ensuing high flows; as a result the Lake Tabor Dam was undermined and destroyed. At the time of the incident, a business corporation, the Tabor City Recreation Commission (TCRC), owned the lake and dam. This corporation, which serves as a property owners' association, purchased the lake in 1954.
Since 1960, the Town of Tabor City (Town) has voluntarily donated labor and equipment to repair and maintain the dam. In May 1991, the Town signed a contract with the TCRC to lease the dam for $1.00 per year. The lease agreement conferred repair responsibilities on the Town but did not grant replacement authority. Following the disaster, the Town applied for FEMA assistance, requesting a damage survey report be prepared for replacement of the dam. DSR 26942 was determined ineligible, for the Town did not own the dam when it was destroyed. Subsequently, the Regional Director denied the first appeal because the applicant did not possess legal responsibility for the structure. The Town provided no additional evidence substantiating their claim to have had legal responsibility for replacement of the dam at the time of the failure in the second appeal.
Issue: Do past maintenance efforts by the Town give them replacement authority? Did the lease transfer legal responsibility for the dam to the town?
Finding: No. The Town received responsibility for repairing and maintaining the dam once the lease was signed, but the Town was not legally responsible for replacement of the dam at the time of the incident.