The tribe was approved Friday for $585,556 by the Golden LEAF board of directors to fund construction of water and sewer infrastructure at a housing project being developed by the Lumbee Tribe, according to tribal leaders. In addition, repairs to the dam at the Lumbee Tribe Cultural Center will begin soon, thanks to more than $1.5 million from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
“This is the first time the Lumbee Tribe has ever received funds from Golden LEAF,” Tribal Chairman Harvey Godwin Jr. said. “We’re excited to get the money, and I want to thank our state legislative delegation, and Bo Biggs and the Golden LEAF board for moving forward to help us build clean and affordable housing. Hopefully the housing will be available in 18 months.”
Biggs, a Lumberton businessman, is a member of the Golden LEAF board.
The housing project calls for building 50 single-family units in tribal territory. The homes will be built on three sites, located in Raynham, Union Chapel and Prospect.
The infrastructure grant was made available through the Disaster Recovery Act of 2017, which was passed in July by the North Carolina General Assembly to make available to Golden LEAF additional funds to assist in the Hurricane Matthew recovery efforts.
Repair work on the Cultural Center dam, damaged when Hurricane Matthew struck in October, is to begin Monday.
“The entire dam project, including the assessment and engineering studies is $1,549,939. The project should take 12 to 15 months to complete depending on the weather,” said Freda Porter, tribal administrator.
Visitors to the Cultural Center will not be allowed to fish in the lake until further notice. As a part of the rehabilitation process the lake will be drained.
The project will improve conditions at the cultural center, Porter said.
“This has been a long-awaited process,” she said. “FEMA has been great to work with.”
The cultural center is open to the public from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays.
Call 910-521-7861 for more information.