By John Moore, Mayor Pro Tem

Town of Lake Lure

I have been honored to serve as the Mayor Pro Tem for the Town of Lake Lure over the past six years.  Following the untimely passing of our honorable Mayor Kevin Cooley in May, I have been serving as the Acting Mayor.  Your Town Council continues to work with the Town of Lake Lure Management Team to continue the important work that is underway.

•    Shannon Baldwin, Town Manager

•    David Arrowood, Public Works Director

•    Brad Burton, Community Development Director

•    Dean Givens, Parks, Recreation and Lake Director

•    Sean Humphries, Police Chief

•    Sam Karr, Finance Director

•    Laura Krejci, Communications Specialist and Grant/Events Coordinator

•    Dustin Waycaster, Fire Chief and Emergency Management Coordinator

One of the most important accomplishments we have made together in the past month is passing the

FY 19-20 Budget. This year‘s budget process was transparent and effective.  In addition to monthly Town Council Meetings, three budget workshops were held to develop the budget.  These meetings allowed Town Council to work through the details of the budget with Town department heads.  All of these meetings are publicized on the Town’s website and are always open to the public.  The process was effective because we created a budget that gives tax payers (on average) a taxcut, a rare occurrence these days!

Anticipating future expenditures to support our infrastructure, we are making every attempt to be efficient and effective with your tax dollars. The Town is now working to bolster the Town budget with grant funds from outside agencies to help us rebuild infrastructure to better serve residents, business owners, and visitors in the Hickory Nut Gorge.

The primary infrastructure needs the Town is focused on include the following priorities:

1)  Dam Renovation: Our nearly 100 year old dam creates our 800

      acre lake, an essential part of the Chimney Rock State Park view

      shed.   Although the dam is in “fair” condition according to our

      recent engineering assessment, it needs renovation to meet

      today’s standards required by NC Department of Environmental

      Quality’s(DEQ) Dam Safety Office. The Town’s assessment of

      the dam is ongoing and a detailed renovation plan is underway.

      We have applied for grants and are in talks with members of the

      NC legislature to seek support for the costs associated

      with the renovation.

2)  Sewer System Replacement: A new environmentally sensitive land-based, low-pressure sewage

     collection system and waste water treatment plant needs to be constructed to meet the requirements of

     NCDEQ – Division of Water Resources.  A modernized sewer system is needed to serve Lake Lure,

     Chimney Rock Village, Chimney Rock State Park and the Hickory Nut Gorge. The Town’s work to

     develop the new low-pressure sewer system is underway and we are also seeking grants and other

     financial support for this system.

3)  New State Park Egress: Chimney Rock State Park plans to build an egress into

      Lake Lure’s Town Center in coming years. We must plan for the critical rerouting

      of traffic for the 262,000 visitors of the State Park to ensure safe access. 

Additionally, we need to ensure effective traffic movement and maximize

opportunity for Town Center redevelopment to increase the local tax base. We

are requesting NC elected officials appropriate sufficient funds to ensure State

and community goals are met successfully and appoint a stakeholder committee

with Town, Chimney Rock Village, State Park and NCDOT representation to

address coordination of this important project.

4)  Dredging: The Town continues to dredge our Lake to maintain this invaluable State resource that sits at

      The bottom of the 95 square-mile watershed covering parts of Buncombe, Henderson, Rutherford,

      and McDowell Counties. A total of 48 water courses empty directly into Lake Lure, including the Broad

      River.  Each continually deposits silt, sediment, and gravel which must be continually removed.  

      Storm events intensely increase sediment loads and are seemingly becoming more frequent. The Town

      is requesting financial support to mitigate impacts of sediment loads from the four county region.

5)  Proposed Bridge at Dam: The Buffalo Creek Road Bridge currently passes over/on our dam. NCDOT

      wants to replace the bridge as it does not meet current standards.  Based on independent assessments

      from the Town’s dam engineering firm, Schnabel Engineering, a recommendation has been made that

      the best place for the bridge is to remain on the dam.  It is critical for dam renovation and bridge

      rehabilitation work be coordinated as one project.  We are requesting the State ensure NCDOT

      work in close coordination with the Town and follow engineering recommendations to protect the

      integrity of the dam and extend its life.  Moreover, the Town requested that NCDOT use 100% of funds

      on the bridge/dam project rather than building a new bridge either below or in front of our dam.

As we work to preserve and enhance our natural resources and infrastructure, the Town of Lake Lure continues to be recognized nationally.

  • Lake Lure – 10 Best Lake Towns in North America – The Town of Lake Lure was recently listed as one of Ten Best Lake Towns in North America by SmarterTravel. (SmarterTravel provides independent expert advice and unbiased reviews for the best travel deals, destinations, and money-saving travel tips.) 
  • Lake Lure’s Weed Patch Mountain Trail Receives the National Coalition for Recreational Trails Award: Weed Patch Mountain Trail has been recognized as one of the best new trails in the nation. Conserving Carolina partnered with the Town of Lake Lure to create the Weed Patch Mountain Trail in only one year in 2017. In addition to designing the trail, the land trust helped fund the project through private donations to supplement the Town’s Recreational Trails Program grant. It also facilitated the creation of the Town’s 1,500-acre Buffalo Creek Park through which the trail traverses, and its permanent protection via a conservation easement.  Weed Patch Mountain Trail travels for 8.6 miles through the Town of Lake Lure’s Buffalo Creek Park and connects to Chimney Rock State Park. It offers stunning scenery and backcountry adventure for both hikers and mountain bikers. It also provides access to Eagle Rock, a newly established destination for rock climbers. Its spur trail to Eagle Rock in Chimney Rock State Park passes through a natural rock tunnel.  

“This is an outstanding achievement, and I join Conserving Carolina’s members, volunteers, and the surrounding communities in celebrating this honor,” said Senator Thom Tillis. “As an avid outdoorsman, I stand in awe of the spectacular views and natural beauty of North Carolina…” 

In addition to this national recognition, the Town supports our community, future growth, and tourism through special events such as the recent Lake Lure Spring Classic Boat and Car Show, Hickory Nut Gorge Outreach’s Spring Arts and Crafts Festival, and Memorial Day Program in May, the Olympiad’s Lure of the Lake Open Water Swim in June, and the Town’s annual Fireworks Event in July.  We are preparing now for the Lake Lure Olympiad Sports Event (August 9-11, 2019), the Chamber of Hickory Nut Gorge’s Dirty Dancing Festival (September 13-14, 2019), and the Lake Lure Fall Arts and Crafts Festival (October 19-20, 2019).  We are grateful for the countless volunteers in our community that support these outstanding events! 

The Town’s Lake, Beach, Marina, Parks, and Trails continue to draw visitors to our community. We are working diligently to maintain and enhance these resources for future generations.  We welcome you to be a part of the process.  Our monthly Town Council Meetings are always open to the public and this is where critical decisions are made which impact and support our Town.  Please join us for these important meetings on the second Tuesday of every month at 5:00 p.m. in the Lake Lure Municipal Hall. And visit www.townoflakelure.com for meeting agendas, minutes, town news, and events.