By Carol Pritchett,

Mayor, Town of Lake Lure

I would like to thank everyone in Lake Lure for taking the COVID-19 Pandemic seriously.  Our citizens acted quickly in response to requests to “Stay at Home” and to practice social distancing. Many of you cancelled events and gatherings to ensure the safety of others.  Though it was very difficult to refrain from all the enjoyable springtime activities, I believe our prudence made a significant difference in controlling the spread of the virus in Lake Lure.  

Burrell

The early measures that your Town Council and Town Staff took to strengthen safety measures also helped protect our community from the full impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic.  We suspended Residential Vacation Rentals, closed public boat ramps, and restricted Parks that did not allow space for social distancing.  

Your Lake Lure Town Council and Town Staff have continued to move important priorities forward, despite this very challenging time.  The Town’s new Assistant Community Development Director, Mitchell Anderson, has a background in audiovisual technology from UNCA.  He was able to quickly prepare Town Hall for a series of virtual meetings which enabled critical Town Council Workshops to continue with key partners participating virtually from across the state. Town Manager, Shannon Baldwin stated that “Mr. Anderson has been an asset to Lake Lure.”  He added, “Mr. Anderson’s skills allowed us to map and understand the relationship between Residential Vacation Rentals and our residential neighborhoods.  This became a major reason we acted so decisively with an expanded emergency declaration.” 

Anderson

We have been able to continue essential government business including further repair to the Hydro-Electric Plant Generators.  We hired a new Dam & Hydroelectric Plant Director, Dean Lindsey, who brings a wealth of power generation, electrical, and maintenance experience with him.  I am pleased to report that the Hydro-Electric Plant is now operational again allowing the Town to generate power which is sold to Duke Energy.  In fact, in the first month of operation the Hydro-Electric Plant generated $49,000.  These revenues go to pay for expenditures and future capital repairs.

Furthermore, we have recently enhanced our Police Department with the addition of a female police officer named Kortney Burrell.  Officer Burrell is a recent graduate of Blue Ridge Community College.  She has an Associate’s Degree in Criminal Justice and successfully completed the Basic Law Enforcement Training Program.  Officer Burrell was born and raised in the Dana area of Henderson County, NC but she says she “absolutely loves working in Lake Lure.”  We are fortunate to have a new female officer, and Officer Burrell said that everyone has given her a warm welcome. 

Finally, I am thrilled to report that the new Marina/Boardwalk project is on track for completion by May 22, 2020, just before the Memorial Day Weekend.  You may have noticed the new aluminum docks that have been staged in Pool Creek Park before they were installed.  The new Boardwalk includes a section of attractive pavers near the Beach that connect to a floating aluminum Boardwalk that leads to the Marina.  I am pleased that this project will pay for itself while generating extra revenue for the Town.  Revenue will be generated by those who lease slips in the Marina and no tax dollars have been used to fund this project. The Town’s Parks, Recreation, and Lake Director Dean Givens has done an outstanding job overseeing this project. The graphic below is an artistic rendering of the new Lake Lure Boardwalk and Marina.

Despite the challenging weeks and months that we have all endured, progress has been made in Lake Lure.  Your Lake Lure team continues to focus on restoring our infrastructure.  The citizens of Lake Lure are strong and resilient and we will work together to preserve Lake Lure for future generations.