by Carol Pritchett
Mayor, Town of Lake Lure
I hope everyone in Lake Lure is enjoying the summer. We have endured many months of restricted activities, but the citizens of Lake Lure adapted well. Your diligence with social distancing and conscientious use of prevention techniques has made a significant impact in minimizing the impact of COVID-19 in our Town. We will all need to continue to adjust and utilize these practices to reduce the chance of spread this summer.
Another exceptional example of adaptability was seen in the Lake Lure Classical Academy 2020 Graduates. These students could never have imagined how soon they would need to demonstrate their flexibility and leadership. Can you imagine having to cancel most of the events associated with your senior year of high school? It was a challenging year for these future leaders, but they rallied and found ways to overcome the hurdles they faced. These young adults brainstormed and came up with the graduation ceremony of all graduation ceremonies in Lake Lure’s Morse Park. Each student stood in the lush green field with the grandeur of our mountains and the Lake as a backdrop. Their families and friends watched from a safe distance while they were given their diplomas. It was a very special day and one they will always remember. Perhaps this ceremony was even more special than it would have been if there were no restrictions at all.
Like these students, we have all had to adjust over the past months, but everyone seems to have persevered. We recently began reopening the Town, which coincided with the soft launch of our new Washburn Marina and Lake Lure Boardwalk. Although the number of boat slips at the new marina has increased from 72 to 208, I am pleased to report that the number of boats using the Lake has not increased. The increased number of boat slips will make it much more convenient for people with permits to moor their boats in Town. We are grateful to the Rutherford County Tourism Development Authority for the grant that helped support this project which required no tax payer funds to complete. The increased boat slips in the new marina will ensure this valuable asset is self-sustaining in the future.
Although this undertaking did not require your tax dollars, other more significant improvements will necessitate a tax expenditure. Since the Town acquired the Lake in 1965, the low population density and overwhelmingly skewed residential tax base (95%), combined with the minimal investment that has historically been made to support the Town’s infrastructure, a substantial investment is now unavoidable. The Town must move forward to accomplish the large scale advancements that are required to support Lake maintenance, Dam renovation, the Hydro-Electric Plant repairs, and the Sewer System rehabilitation. This investment in our infrastructure cannot be deferred. We have time to prepare, but protecting and preserving our Lake will require an aggressive plan to foster federal and state legislative support, promote public-private partnerships, and tax payer investment to set the conditions for our long-term success. We have addressed these issues in our 20-21 Town Budget. We will be providing an opportunity to discuss these issues with you in detail at an upcoming Town Hall Meeting that will be held on 7/28/20. You may attend the meeting from 10am-12pm, 2-4pm, or 6-8pm at the Lake Lure Classical Academy Gymnatorium.
We look forward to continuing our work with the entire Lake Lure community, our neighbors in Rutherford County, and the state of North Carolina as we move forward with our future goals.