Thank you for the warm welcome and support I have received since I was
sworn into Office at the September Lake Lure Town Council Meeting. I have
appreciated the input many citizens have provided since this time and I am
incorporating several of these recommendations as I carry out the important
work we are undertaking with Town Council and our Town’s leadership team.
My priority as Mayor is to preserve Lake Lure for our children and grandchildren.
Lake Lure Mayor Carol Pritchett
Lake Lure Mayor Carol Pritchett
provide a few updates on key areas of focus that are underway.
Dam Renovations: The Town conducted a thorough condition assessment of the Lake Lure Dam in 2019. Our dam has performed very well during its lifetime and has been evaluated as an “engineering marvel” by engineers. The dam is designated as a “High Hazard Dam” based on its size, not its condition. The dam is evaluated to be in “fair condition” based on its age and based on all that we have learned from an exhaustive expert analysis. We are confident the dam will continue to serve us well as we make recommended repairs. To that end, Town staff have been working closely with the NC State Dam Safety Office engineers to obtain funding to support necessary repairs. In July, we applied for a High Hazard Dam Rehabilitation Grant through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). The focus of this grant is on planning, engineering, and design work. We learned 10/14/19 that the Town of Lake Lure was awarded $70,000 towards further analysis of our dam’s spillway. In addition to helping to fund this critical analysis, this grant may lead to additional construction funds in the coming years.
Sewer System Enhancements: Town Council and the Utilities Advisory Board (UAB) held a special meeting in September to discuss the Low-Pressure Sewer System Engineering Report that was recently updated. The meeting was open to the public, as are all our Board meetings. The proposed Low-Pressure Sewer System presented included excessive cost which would have necessitated increased sewer rates for the Town. Town Council asked the UAB to provide alternative recommendations for upgrades and repairs to the existing sewer system – rather than developing such a costly new system. Town Council and the UAB directed Town staff to work closely with the NC Department of Environmental Quality to seek further guidance on this decision and how best to proceed with the necessary renovations. Our next steps are to develop a proactive, phased renovation approach to the existing system that will be presented to the State. This plan for solving the sewer system challenges will be developed within the amount of funding the Town will receive through an existing low interest loan that has been pre-approved by the State.
Boardwalk and Marina: The Town is utilizing a $100,000 Rutherford County Tourism Authority Grant that will be provided over two years to help fund the development of a new Boardwalk and Marina. We hope to have phases of the project completed seamlessly in the off season. The timeline is tight and if the project cannot be completed before the 2020 tourist season, it may be postponed until the next year. This will ensure tourism is not impact as we work to secure financing to support the completion of the project.
Public Wi-Fi: The Town recognizes the importance of “Wi-Fi” for the Lake Lure area. In an effort to enhance and expand Wi-Fi opportunities for our citizens and guests while they enjoy Morse Park, the Lake Lure Beach and Town Center areas, the Town reviewed requests for proposals (RFP) to enhance these services in these specific areas. The UAB reviewed the first round of Wi-Fi proposals in October. The Board decided to allow time to amend the nature of the proposal request. Our next steps are to meet with and discuss installation details with potential vendors. Based on interest from these vendors, the Town will either put out an amended RFP for the Wi-Fi installation, or potentially directly contract with one of the original respondents for the installation of these services.
Lake Lure is one of the gems of the Carolinas and we serve as a beautiful gateway to Western, NC. As such, we are working with state agencies and adjacent community leaders to enhance our partnership as we seek resources to sustain our infrastructure. We are applying for grants and working with Federal and State elected officials to initiate funding for our Town. We need your ongoing support through participation in Town Council and our Town Boards as we work together to preserve Lake Lure for future generations. Please visit www.townoflakelure.com for more information on how you may serve.