Town News September 2019

FACTS YOU NEED TO KNOW

Before Starting Work During Lake Drawdowns

The Town historically lowers the lake on a three-year cycle for to allow lakefront property owners the opportunity to repair and maintain lake structures, particularly seawalls.  The Town also makes needed repairs at this time. 

Generally, all work within the lake boundary (995 feet Mean Sea Level (MSL)) will require permits from the Town of Lake Lure. Additional permitting from North Carolina Division of Water Resources (DWQ) and/or U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) and/or Rutherford County Building Inspections is likely to be required from any work below the shoreline (990.5 feet MSL).

State and federal permits, if required, shall precede and accompany town applications, as required.  Property owners and/or contractors are responsible for getting permits from county, state, and federal agencies, as appropriate. The Town does not provide these services.

Please be advised:
State and federal review times might exceed lake drawdown period.  It is recommended that permits are submitted to these authorities as early as possible. 
 
Please click here for additional information and to download a Quick Reference Guide.

 

 


 

LAKE LURE POLICE DEPARTMENT OFFICER WORLEY

RECEIVES REGION C AWARD 

Officer Bailey Worley was dispatched to a call on June 28, 2019.  The call was concerning a man who had been missing for two hours.  When his wife went looking for him, she found his vehicle off the side of a mountain and heard her husband moaning.  She immediately called 911 for help.

Officer Worley arrived and immediately maneuvered his way down the mountain approximately 40 feet where he located the man.  Officer Worley was able to relay important information to Lake Lure Fire & Rescue.  After EMS safely made their way to the patient, Officer Worley obtained a chainsaw from the fire truck and began cutting a safe path for rescuers to move the patient from the scene to the ambulance.  The patient was flown via helicopter to the hospital.

Officer Worley’s quick thinking to get to the patient, calm him and secure him until EMS could get to him, was the true heart of an officer, going above and beyond to save a life.

Congratulations Officer Worley for being recognized for this coveted Region C Award. Officer Worley is pictured here with Lake Lure Police Chief, Sean Humphries.

 

 

 


 

EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITIES

Please share this post with those who may be interested in employment opportunities in the beautiful Town of Lake Lure, NC.

Click here to learn more about these full time positions and the excellent benefits package.  

 

 

 


 

LAKE LURE BOARD APPRECIATION

 

The Lake Lure Town Council held a Volunteer Board Appreciation Picnic on 9/25/19.  Lake Lure Mayor, Carol Pritchett thanked Board Members for sharing their time and expertise in service to our Town.  

 


 

COMMUNITY EDUCATION

Lake Lure and Rumbling Bald Resort Community Education on Staying Safe Around Bears by the NC Wildlife Commission’s BearWise Team

On Tuesday, September 24, 2019, the NC Department of Wildlife held a BearWise Education Forum for Lake Lure at the Rumbling Bald Resort.  The following BearWise Basics were discussed in detail. Please click here to download these materials.

 

 


 

COMMUNITY EDUCATION

Lake Lure Flowering Bridge Class - All About Hydrangeas


On Thursday, September 26, 2019, the Lake Lure Flowering Bridge Committee provided a class on hydrangea by Master Gardener Eleanor Bails. The class was held at the Lake Lure Municipal Hall,  2948 Memorial Highway, Lake Lure, NC 28746.
 
 

 



 

  THE 10th ANNUAL DIRTY DANCING FESTIVAL WAS A BIG SUCCESS!

Special thanks to the over 100 volunteers who help make this festival possible!

   

 


 

 IN REMEMBRANCE

The Town of Lake Lure is ever mindful of those who were impacted by the events of 9/11.

You remain in our thoughts and our hearts.

 

 

 

LAKE LURE BEACH

 

The Lake Lure Beach is now open daily from 9AM to 5 PM. 

The dock ramp is not open for use and swimming is not permitted but everyone can enjoy a walk on the beach.

 


 

BUFFALO CREEK ROAD UPDATES

The following is an updates from the North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT).   
•    The State has observed no movement of the slide area in the past few months.
•    The slide could come back at any time, depending on future rain events.
•    Officials are confident the landslide will eventually move again.
•    Temporary repairs to Buffalo Creek Road have been made.
•    Pavement repairs are not planned at this time.
•    Temporary repairs will be maintained in place until a permanent solution is adopted.  
•    A permanent repair is being investigated that would re-align the roadway up and around the slide area.
•    A public meeting will be scheduled to give interested residents an opportunity to review the plan and provide comments.
•    NCDOT will work with the Town of Lake Lure to alert the area residents of the meeting time and location.
•    The plans for a permanent solution may be adjusted, based on public input, if needed.
Please click here for additional background information.  If you have questions regarding this matter, please contact the Town's Communications Specialist at communications@townoflakelure.com or 828-625-9983, extension 103.

 


 

SEPTEMBER TOWN COUNCIL MEETING 

 


MEETING SUMMARY:  Please click here for a summary of the 9/10/19 Town Council Meeting which covers the following topics:


1.    Welcome and Opening Remarks: new Mayor Carol Pritchett shared her vision for her role as Mayor.

2.    Town Manager Updates: Town Manager Shannon Baldwin provided updates on the following areas with respective department heads: Lake Lure Dam,  Hydroelectric Plant, Sewer System Updates, Water Interconnect, Town Center Wi-Fi,   Permits for Working on the Lake,   Boardwalk and Marina Renovation and Upgrades, Bears Safety, Grant Updates, Events, Town Council Board Picnic,  Candidate Forums, and Buffalo Creek Road.

3.    Council Liaison Reports: Please click here for links to the latest meeting minutes and future meeting agendas for the Utilities Advisory Board, Lake Advisory Board, ABC Board, and Planning Board, Parks and Recreation Board, Board of Adjustment, and the Lake Structures Appeals Board.

4.    Public Forum

5.    Consent Agenda

6.    New Business:
Consider an option and activate the upset bid process relative to the commercial center.

7.    Adjournment: With no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 6:31 p.m.   

 

 


 

 

 

HAPPY LABOR DAY from the Town of Lake Lure!  Please click here and take an opportunity today to visit one of the Town Parks today! 

 

 


 

SPECIAL JOINT MEETING
OF THE LAKE LURE TOWN COUNCIL AND UTILITY ADVISORY BOARD  
The purpose of the meeting is to discuss the Low-Pressure Sewer System Engineering Report.
When: Friday, 9//20/19 at 1:00 PM
Where: Lake Lure Municipal Hall, 2948 Memorial Highway, Lake Lure, NC 28746

 


 

CHARTERS OF FREEDOM MONUMENT DEDICATION

Lake Lure Mayor, Carol Pritchett, Town Manager, Shannon Baldwin, Communications Coordinator, Laura Krejci, and Executive Director for the Chamber of Hickory Nut Gorge attended the dedication ceremony for the Charters of Freedom Monument on Tuesday, 9/17/19 at 6 p.m. on the front lawn of the Rutherford County Courthouse.
Rutherfordton Mayor, Jimmy Dancy is photographed here in front of the monument with Lake Lure Mayor, Carol Pritchett.
The Charters of Freedom are actual-size replicas of what are considered the “founding documents” of the United States: the Declaration of Independence, the United States Constitution and the Bill of Rights.
If you did not have an opportunity to attend the dedication, please plan a visit to see the stunning memorial.
 

 


 

TEMPORARY LANE CLOSURE – BUFFALO SHOALS ROAD 9/18/19
Please note that there will be a temporary one lane closure on Wednesday, 9/18/19 between 9:00 am and 4:00 pm. The purpose of the temporary lane closure is for large equipment needed to remove hazardous trees. The area between Buffalo Creek Road and Moffitt Road will be reduced to one lane and flaggers will be on site to guide traffic.

 


 


 

A MONTH IN REVIEW

The sun has set on August and we thought you might appreciate a chance to read about updates that have taken place in the Town of Lake Lure this past month and we wanted to ensure you did not miss anything.   Here’s a sampling of the topics that may be of interest to you:

•    August Town Council Meeting Summary
•    Appointment of our New Mayor, Carol Pritchett
•    Progress with Priorities from Mayor Pro Tem, John Moore
•    Duke Energy Updates in Lake Lure
•    Outcome of Plans for Lowering the Lake This Year
•    Notice – Bear Alert and the Five BearWise Basics
•    Gearing Up for the 10th Annual Dirty Dancing Festival – Don’t Miss Your Opportunity to Volunteer!
•    Congratulations to the Winners and Special Thanks to the Olympiad Volunteers!
      (Especially Kay Dittmer and Pam Keith for 15 years of faithful leadership and volunteer service!)
•    Meet New Firefighter Rhett Ballard
•    Celebrating the Mountains Branch
•    Library’s Books and Bites Author Mary Alice Monroe
•    The Lake Lure Flowering Branch Successful Gardening Class at Lake Lure Municipal Hall
•    Another Outstanding PAWS Pet Fest at Morse Park
•    For Your Awareness – An Update on Progress with the Low Pressure Sewer System Assessment
•    Everbridge Transition – Have You Registered for Lake Lure’s new Mass Communication System Yet? (Please click here for more information and the simple registration process.

EVENTS: And please click here for a listing of upcoming meetings and events in Lake Lure.  Here’s just a few you events you may be interested in attending:
•    September Town Council with our New Mayor, Carol Pritchett!: Tuesday, September 10, 2019 at 5:00 pm in Municipal Hall

•    Dirty Dancing Festival: Friday, September 13 and Saturday, September 14, 2019 in More Park  (Please click here to volunteer this year – we need you!)

•    All About Hydrangeas: Thursday. September 26, 2019 at 10:000 am at Lake Lure Municipal Hall

•    Lake Lure Candidates Forum: October 3, 2019 at 5:30 pm at Lake Lure Municipal Hall

•    Mountain Branch Library’s Books and Bites Authors Luncheon author Karen White: Tuesday, October 15, 2019  at the 1927 Lake Lure Inn and Spa

•    Hickory Nut Gorge Outreach’s Fall Arts and Crafts Festival Saturday, October 19 and Sunday, October 20, 2019 in the Lake Lure Town Center

•    The Lake Lure Artists Annual Show and Sale: Saturday, November 9, 2019 - 9:00 am-4:00 pm at Lake Lure Municipal Hall

•    Lake Lure Veterans Day Program: Monday, November 11, 2019 at 10:00 am  at Rumbling Bald Resort

Please join us for these great community events and have a great weekend in the beautiful Town of Lake Lure!
 

 


 

SPECIAL THANKS BUFFALO CREEK PARK WORKDAY VOLUNTEERS!

 

   

We had four volunteers participate in the Buffalo Creek Park Workday on 8/28/19.  
The team created several berms and repaired erosion issues along the first mile of the Weed Patch Mountain trail that attaches to Buffalo Creek Park, this is also known by many as the Extension Trail.
There is a large tree down on the end of that section and the team is going back on 8/30/19 to remove it.   


 

MEET OUR NEW FIREFIGHTER - RHETT BALLARD

Human Resources Coordinator, Amy Wright, swore in Lake Lure's new Firefighter, Rhett Ballard on 8/26/19 in Municipal Hall.  Fire Chief/Emergency Management Coordinator, Dustin Waycaster, oversaw the process. Town Manager, Shannon Baldwin, and Mayor, Carol Pritchett, joined in welcoming Lake Lure's new Firefighter, a graduate of Lake Lure Classical Academy.  Rhett has volunteered at the Lake Lure Fire Department as a part of the Explorer Program since the Party Rock Fires in 2016.  Welcome Rhett!

 



 

NOTICE - BEAR ALERT

Black Bears have been seen in our area recently. Bears are generally not dangerous to people if they are left alone. Bears and people can safely co-exist when you follow the 6 BearWise Basics:
 
            

 


 

CELEBRATING BOOKS AND BITES AUTHOR MARY ALICE MONROE

The Friends of the Mountains Branch Library hosted author Mary Alice Monroe as she presented her latest book, “The Summer Games.”  The event was a big success and there was an excellent attendance.

The fund raising event was held at The 1927 Lake Lure Inn and Spa and there was an excellent turnout for this popular author.  She was available to sign books for all who were interested.


 


 

SUCCESSFUL GARDENING CLASS

The Lake Lure Flowering Bridge Volunteers hosts a series of educational classes for our community, free of charge.  On 8/22/19, a Successful Gardening Class was held at Municipal Hall.  Attendees learned some of the following points:

  • Our area encompasses three gardening zones - 6, 7, and 8 - because of the isothermal effect and many micro climates here.
  • If you’re starting a garden from scratch, plant shrubs and trees first. They will be the bones of your garden, along with any hardscapes, structures, and artwork, and will become your wind break, shade, and the backdrop for your perennials and annuals. 
  • Fertilize three times a year: March or April, June, and August or September.
  • Use 10-10-10 or 5-10-10 fertilizer. 
  • Water long and deep rather than shallow. You will water less often and plant roots will follow the water and grow down instead of up to the surface trying to find water. 
  • The internet is your gardening friend: Use it.

Mark your calendars for the next Lake Lure Flowering Bridge Class on Hydrangeas, September 26, 2019 at 10:00 in the Lake Lure Municipal Hall.  Please click here for more information on the Lake Lure Flowering bridge.

Special thanks to Maryann Brown for leading the excellent class!

 


 

PAWS 3rd ANNUAL PET FEST 

The PAWS Pet Fest was another great success this year.  The group raised close to $1200 in donations and raffle ticket sales which is appreciated.  Additionally, six cats and dogs were adopted during the event and are now living in happy homes!   Special thanks to Gale Wilson for sharing these great photos and to all those who supported this year's event.

     

     

    

 


 

AUGUST TOWN COUNCIL MEETING SUMMARY

1.    Mayor Pro Tem Remarks:

•    Resolution Honoring Mayor Kevin Cooley Mayor: Pro Tem John Moore presented Yvonne Cooley with a resolution honoring Mayor Kevin Cooley and denoting his many contributions to the Town.  There was a brief reception for Mrs. Cooley.

•    Congressman Patrick McHenry: Congressman Patrick McHenry visited Lake Lure on 8/7/19 and held a public forum here in Town Hall.  It was obvious that he is aware of the infrastructure issues that our Town is working on.  He discussed the Town’s investment in infrastructure and he mentioned that he has written a letter of support for our grant application for the dam.

•    Duke Energy Power Enhancements: In February 2019 a public meeting was held here in Town Hall with Duke Energy to discuss improving local power service.  Special thanks to Pat Buede for working with Town staff to host this meeting.  We believe this forum and the Town’s continuous dialogue and coordination with Duke Energy Officials has made an impact.  Duke Energy has announced that they are about to begin work on a project that will help to increase reliability to the Lake Lure area. From August to around mid-November, multiple crews will be working to upgrade the feeder tie that runs south down Hwy 9 to the Mill Springs area. This will include installing bigger wire and taller poles. This is part of Duke's long range strategy to enhance reliability to Lake Lure by strengthening the ties to other feeders and substations in the area. Much of the work will be done right along Hwy 9 so motorists are encouraged to be aware of work zones and pay attention to flaggers.  We expect there will be occasional lane closures, but crews will work to minimize impacts to the public. We are pleased this project is being implemented this fall and look forward to the benefits that this long term strategy will bring to customers in our area.

•    Infrastructure: The Town of Lake Lure is working hard to address these State mandated infrastructure repairs, renovations and replacements that are needed to maintain our beautiful Town for our citizens and for all those who visit the Hickory Nut Gorge.  

•    Events: In addition to this challenging work, our Town is gearing up to support year-round activities and events that will attract visitors and future citizens to our area.  We hope you will support these upcoming festivals which have become signature events for our Town. Please click here to learn more about upcoming events. Please click here for additional information on future events.

    August 24, 2019: The PAWS Pet Fest will be held in Morse Park

    September 13-14, 2019: Dirty Dancing Festival Sponsored by the Chamber of Hickory Nut Gorge

    October 19-20, 2019: Lake Lure Arts and Crafts Festival Sponsored by the Hickory Nut Gorge
Outreach

    November 9, 2019: Lake Lure Annual Artist Show and Sale Sponsored by the Lake Lure Artists

•    Elections: As we continue our work to enhance the beauty and infrastructure of Lake Lure, we will be electing new officials that will support this ongoing work.  Your participation in this process if critical and I encourage you all to get out and vote in November.

2.    Town Manager Updates:

•    Town Staff Evaluations: Town Manager, Shannon Baldwin, noted that employee evaluations will be conducted in 9/18.•    Dam Updates: David Arrowood, Public Works Director, provided an update on the Dam stating that the contract with Schnabel Engineering is pending confirmation on the dam grant. He noted that the contract with Clifton Power Company has been signed and he expects to begin work on the small generator in the next 30 days.

•    Sewer System Updates: Mr. Arrowood provided an update on the sewer system stating that the Town has spoken with the State about the valve on the sewer line. Regarding the interconnect, there are three different permitted systems that are being tested and sampled. If the interconnect is it would make the whole system complete. If it’s not put into place, some systems will be limited. He recommended that it be considered to join the systems into one.

•    Strategic Communications Plan: Laura Krejci, Communications/Events/Grants Coordinator, briefed Council on the Strategic Communications Plan mentioning that the plan is focused on how the community can work with national and state organizations to support critical infrastructure projects in Lake Lure including renovation and repairs for the dam, the sewer system, planning for the Chimney Rock State Park egress, a coordinated plan with NCDOT to address the bridge over the Dam, and dredging to sustain the lake. We have worked with local legislative representatives to identify key partners that can assist moving forward. The focus is very positive and is about building on Lake Lure’s history and innovation.  Our goal is to identify what we can do as a community to work with the State and Federal Government to support our infrastructure needs.  We will present this plan to Council in the coming weeks to get their input.  

•    High Hazard Dam Grant: Ms. Krejci briefed Council on the status of the FEMA High Hazard Dam Grant.  The Town is a sub-applicant with the State on this grant application.  The Town received word from the State on 8/13/19 that unfortunately the State has not completed their risk and mitigation plan for high hazard dams and therefor no NC applicants are eligible to apply at this time.   The good news is that there will another opportunity for the application to be considered once the State completes their plan. The focus of this grants is on design, planning, and engineering. Commissioner Stephen Webber asked how this affects this phase of the timeline. Mr. Baldwin stated that we will be coming back to Council in September with additional information.

•    Wi-Fi: Community Development Director, Brad Burton, provided an update on Town Wi-Fi noting that we have received proposals following our recent Request for Proposals (RFP).  He met with the Town Attorney last week to go through the proposals and he plans to present a report on their findings at the next meeting.

•    Commercial Center: Mr. Burton provided an update on the Commercial Center stating that an RFP had gone out for renovations and packets were due this week.  He has spoken with those who planned to bid on the project and they are requesting additional information. He is meeting with the Town’s design consultants to discuss this request and hopefully to be able to provide the additional information to those bidding on the project.

6. New Business:  

a.  Bears:
Commissioner Bob Cameron asked that Council and Town Staff speak with Wildlife to try and relocate bears. He suggested having a meeting with Wildlife to speak with them about the bear problem in the community and stated that it needs to be addressed. Commissioner John Kilby pointed out that there used to be a bear club in Lake Lure years ago which is no longer operating in the Town. Brad Burton stated that his department deals with nuisance abatement and stated that bears seem to get into trash cans of vacation renters a lot and stated that vacation rentals must have animal resistant trash receptacles.  Town Manager, Shannon Baldwin indicated that Town Staff would look into this matter and keep Town Council advised.

b.  Resolution Appointing a New Mayor:
Mayor Pro Tem John Moore read Resolution No. 19-08-13B, appointing Carol C. Pritchett as Mayor to serve Kevin Cooley’s unexpired term.  The motion carried 4-0.

c. Oath of Office:
Town Clerk, Michelle Jolley, administered the oath of office to newly elected Mayor Carol C. Pritchett to be effective as of August 14, 2019.  

d.  Marine Commission Meeting in September:
Commissioner John Kilby mentioned that a subcommittee discussing the boat permitting system will not be ready to present to the Marine   Commission in September and the LAB has asked that we postpone the next meeting until October. Council discussed and agreed to cancel the September meeting.

7. Adjournment

Please click here to read the rest of the Town Council Summary.

 

 


 

 

CAROL C PRITCHETT TAKES THE OATH OF OFFICE

The Lake Lure Town Council unanimously passed Resolution
19-08-13B appointing Carol C. Pritchett as the Mayor of the
Town of Lake Lure Mayor on Wednesday, 8/13/19.  Mayor
Pritchett will complete former Mayor Kevin Cooley’s
unexpired term, following his untimely passing.  

Mrs. Pritchett was sworn into office at the Lake Lure Town
Council Meeting on Wednesday, 8/13/19.  This appointment
became effective August 14, 2019 and will remain in effect for
the remaining term of the former Mayor.  The appointment will
expire in conjunction with the official oath of office for the
newly elected Mayor, at the Regular Town Council Meeting
on December 10, 2019. The filing period for the 2019 municipal election has expired and Mrs. Pritchett is the only person running for Mayor.  She will therefore be the next elected Mayor of Lake Lure.

Following the passing of the resolution, Mayor Pritchett thanked Town Council and Mayor Pro Tem John Moore for her appointment as Mayor and for their service to the Town of Lake Lure.  She recognized the many accomplishments of former Mayor Kevin Cooley during his tenure and remarked that he was an incredible presence in our community.  She stated that his work will survive his passing and noted that we would all profit from his efforts for a long time to come.

Mayor Pritchett added that she thought the community had a shared goal of preserving Lake Lure for future generations.  She shared that she and her husband, Joe Pritchett, moved to Lake Lure from Houston, Texas in 2011.  Mayor Pritchett noted that she and her husband built a home in Lake Lure to establish a gathering place for their family, including their two sons and their wives, including five grandchildren.

Mayor Pritchett stated “For the first time in a long time we have a good sense of the challenges that we are facing and the things that need to be done. I look forward to working with all of you in the future.”

Mayor Pro Tem John Moore remarked that “Carol C. Pritchett has vast experience and an outstanding track record of establishing operational excellence and driving profitable, sustainable, revenue growth, while championing optimal outcomes. She has 17+ years of experience managing national organizations with annual revenue in excess of $300M and more than 70 separate facilities in 13 states across the country. She is a results-driven, transparent, and inclusive leader who will serve Lake Lure well.  Lake Lure is fortunate to have Carol Pritchett as Mayor as she will help the Town expand the current positive trajectory and help us address the infrastructure challenges we face, while building upon the exceptional beauty that surrounds Lake Lure.”

Carol Pritchett founded Coulter Consulting LLC in Asheville, NC and served as President from 2014 until the present.  Her company contracted with standalone healthcare facilities and oversaw their operations including the establishment of strategic plans, policy development, training and successful certifications.  Mrs. Pritchett served as the Senior Vice President of Encore Healthcare Corp in Columbia, MD from 2011 – 2014 and as a Regional Vice President of Operations with Life Care Centers of America, Inc. in Houston, TX from 2015 to 2011. The Town of Lake Lure is honored to have Carol C. Pritchett as their new Mayor.  

 


 

PUBLIC MEETING ON LOWERING THE LAKE

 

The Town of Lake Lure, NC proactively lowers the lake on a three-year cycle to allow lakefront property owners to maintain their lake structures.  The Marine Commission held a special public forum on 8/13/19 to discuss and gather input on the cycle and timing of lowering the lake.  Thank you to the approximately 65 people who participated in the meeting. The purpose of lowering the lake during the offseason is to allow lakefront property owners to maintain their lake structures, including boathouses, docks and seawalls.  By having a schedule in place, property owners can plan for the desired work and have a contractor and permits in place prior to the lake being lowered.  The Town has lowered the lake between 4-5 feet on a three year cycle in the past.

The Marine Commission presented the pros and cons associated with lowering the lake for these reasons during the meeting.  Citizens had the opportunity to express their opinions as individuals and by a show of hands so the Marine Commission could assess the number of people in the room who supported various options for lowering the lake.  Ultimately, the Marine Commission voted to begin the drawdown of the lake on December 1, 2019, and to begin raising the lake to full pond on February 10, 2020.  Town Staff requested that the lake be lowered for at least thirty days to replace a valve in the sewer line mandated by the state.  The Town retains the ability to lower the lake at other times, as necessary, due to the weather, maintenance, dredging, construction, or for evaluation/inspections.

 
 


 

PROGRESS WITH PRIORITIES

Mayor Pro Tem John Moore

 August 10, 2019

Thank you all for the feedback and positive responses to last month’s article on “Preserving Lake Lure for Future Generations.”  It is important for our citizens to be aware of the issues our Town is facing and we also need ongoing input and support from our constituents to help us make the best decisions for our Town as we move forward to address important priorities.

I would encourage everyone to participate in our monthly Town Council Meetings which are held on the second Tuesday of each month at 5:00 in the Municipal Hall at 2948 Memorial Highway.  The purpose of these meetings is to exchange information, receive updates and to make decisions on key issues that impact our Town.  The meetings generally last an hour and a half and we hope you will find them informative.  The agenda is always posted online in advance of the meeting and the minutes that summarize the meetings are available online as well at www.townoflakelure.com.   We are currently discussing critical infrastructure matters that the Town is working on diligently, including the dam renovation, our sewer system replacement, the new Chimney Rock State Park egress that is being planned by the NC Department of Transportation, dredging to maintain the quality of our lake, enhanced Wi-Fi and telecommunications in our area, and marina, park and trail improvements, just to name a few.  I will take this opportunity to provide a few updates here on significant topics so you will be aware of the efforts that are underway.  

Dam Renovations: Town staff have been working closely with the North Carolina State Dam Safety Engineering Office through the NC Department of Environmental Quality (NCDEQ) to apply for a rehabilitation grant through the National Dam Safety Program.  The focus of this grant is for planning, engineering, and design work.  There were hundreds of applicants for this grant so we are uncertain if the project will be awarded, but we are attempting to secure national funding to support these necessary and costly renovations.  Congressman Patrick McHenry visited Lake Lure on 8/7/19 and held a public forum where he mentioned his support for the Town’s investment in infrastructure and he has written a letter of support for our grant application for the dam.

Sewer System Replacement: The Town is continuing to work to implement a land-based, low-pressure sewage collection system.  The next step in this effort is the completion of an Engineering Report that will be submitted to NCDEQ. Simultaneously, the Town has hired a geotechnical engineer, Bunnell-Lammons Engineering, Inc. (BLE) to assist with the project.  BLE is running ground penetrating radar and taking soil boring samples to find where rock is located.  This evaluation will support future planning as the project moves forward.

Public Wi-Fi:  The Town recognizes the importance of wireless fidelity “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 is currently reviewing requests for proposals for this service and anticipates having work begin on these enhancements in the not too distant future.  Also, Town staff are in continuous dialogue with a consultant working toward acquiring all necessary easements for the siting of a wireless telecommunication facility within the Town.  We realize that this communication facility is a necessary asset for our community and we will keep you posted on our progress in this area.

Duke Energy Power Enhancements: In February 2019 a public meeting was held with Duke Energy to discuss improving local power service. We believe this forum and the Town’s continuous dialogue and coordination with Duke Energy Officials has made an impact.  Duke Energy has announced that they are about to begin work on a project that will help to increase reliability to the Lake Lure area. From August to around mid-November, multiple crews will be working to upgrade the feeder tie that runs south down Hwy 9 to the Mill Springs area. This will include installing bigger wire and taller poles. This is part of Duke's long range strategy to enhance reliability to Lake Lure by strengthening the ties to other feeders and substations in the area.

Much of the work will be done right along Hwy 9 so motorists are encouraged to be aware of work zones and pay attention to flaggers. We expect there will be occasional lane closures, but crews will work to minimize impacts to the public.

We are pleased this project is being implemented this fall and look forward to the benefits that this long term strategy will bring to customers in our area.

Lake Levels:  The Marine Commission held a special public forum on 8/13/19 to discuss and gather input on the cycle and timing of lowering the lake.  Thank you to the approximately 65 people who participated in the meeting.

 The purpose of lowering the lake during the off season is to allow lakefront property owners to maintain their lake structures, including boathouses, docks and seawalls.  By having a schedule in place, property owners can plan for the desired work and have a contractor and permits in place prior to the lake being lowered.  The Town has lowered the lake between 4-5 feet on a three year cycle in the past.


The Marine Commission presented the pros and cons associated with lowering the lake for these reasons during the meeting.  Citizens had the opportunity to express their opinions as individuals and by a show of hands so the Marine Commission could assess the number of people in the room who supported various options for lowering the lake.  Ultimately, the Marine Commission voted to begin the drawdown of the lake on December 1, 2019, and to begin raising the lake to full pond on February 10, 2020.  Town Staff requested that the lake be lowered for at least thirty days to replace a valve in the sewer line mandated by the state.  The Town retains the ability to lower the lake at other times, as necessary, due to the weather, maintenance, dredging, construction, or for evaluation/inspections.

The Town of Lake Lure is working hard to address these State mandated infrastructure repairs, renovations and replacements that are needed to maintain our beautiful Town for our citizens and for all those who visit the Hickory Nut Gorge.  In addition to this challenging work, our Town is gearing up to support year-round activities and events that will attract visitors and future citizens to our area.  We hope you will support these upcoming festivals which have become signature events for our Town:


    September 13-14, 2019: Dirty Dancing Festival Sponsored by the Chamber of Hickory Nut Gorge

    October 19-20, 2019: Lake Lure Arts and Crafts Festival Sponsored by the Hickory Nut Gorge

Outreach

    November 9, 2019: Lake Lure Annual Artist Show and Sale Sponsored by the Lake Lure Artists

As we continue our work to enhance the beauty and infrastructure of Lake Lure, we will be electing new officials that will support this ongoing work.  Your participation in this process if critical and I encourage you all to get out and vote in November.

  

 

 

DUKE ENERGY UPDATES IN THE LAKE LURE AREA

 

In February 2019 a public meeting was held with Duke Energy to discuss improving local power service.  Duke Energy has announced that they are about to begin work on a project that will help to increase reliability to the Lake Lure area.  From early August to around mid-November multiple crews will be working to upgrade the feeder tie that runs south down Hwy 9 to the Mill Springs area.  This will include installing bigger wire, taller poles, etc.   This is part of our long range strategy to enhance reliability to Lake Lure by strengthening the ties to other feeders and substations in the area.


As much of the work is right along Hwy 9, we encourage motorists to be aware of work zones and pay attention to flaggers.  We expect there will be occasional lane closures, but crews will work to minimize impacts to the public.  


We are pleased this project is being implemented this fall and look forward to the benefits that our long term strategy will bring to customers in area.

  
  

 

SPECIAL THANKS TO ALL THOSE WHO VOLUNTEERED FOR THE

15th ANNUAL LAKE LURE OLYMPIAD!

 

2019 Lake Lure Olympiad Results

Returning for the 15th annual year, the scenic mountain town of Lake Lure hosted the Lake Lure Olympiad on August 9-11, 2019. Each year hundreds of athletes come to compete at one of Western North Carolina's Premier Destination Sports Festivals, situated in the Blue Ridge Foothills.  Lake Lure Olympiad Chair, Kay Dittmer said, “This year was no exception.  In fact, there were a record number of registrations with a 15% increase across the board and the enthusiasm of everyone that participated was outstanding.

The 15th Annual Lake Lure Olympiad included multiple race events, challenging courses, and entertaining outdoor activities for family and friends. “The Lake Lure Olympiad is a non-profit organization bringing people together in the spirit of friendly competition for the benefit of charitable giving”, remarked Dittmer. The Olympiad has given back that more than $315,000 towards area charities and service organizations. This year’s totals are still being tabulated but the beneficiaries will go to local area service organizations and charities.

Over the past 15 years, athletes of all ages and abilities have participated and continue to rave about the area's scenic beauty, delicious finish line food, homemade cookies, and countless welcoming volunteers which all make the Olympiad experience truly special and unique. 

Here is a brief overview of each event with the male and female overall winners: 

1)   Slam the Dam: Total Event Participants: 237

Slam the Dam is an early evening run that provides a spectacular tour of some of the most beautiful spots in Lake Lure ending with an ice cream sundae social and a refreshing dip in the lake.

This demanding 10K race begins at Ingles Supermarket on Rt. 9,  heads east on Rt. 64 and then left onto Buffalo Shoals Rd. where participants cross the iconic Lake Lure Dam. The winding up & down Buffalo Shoals section of this race provides participants with a challenging but gorgeous stretch that finishes on the beach at the Rumbling Bald Resort. 

 

2)   Triathlon: Total Event Participants: 316

The Lake Lure Sprint starts and finishes on the white sandy beach of Rumbling Bald Resort. The Lake Lure area is a favorite training haven for triathletes and was noted as such by Complete Tri in their "Top Ten Great Destination Triathlons" and "The Most Amazing Triathlons To Do Across the USA Today" in Culture Trip.

Swim:

The swim start and finish locations are a couple of hundred yards apart, so the 750-meter course is shaped like a triangle with one large pyramid shaped buoy functioning as the lone turn buoy on this course. This is a time trial swim start, with participants going off every 2-3 seconds. This greatly improves swim safety, but it also allows participants to swim with family members or friends, something they're not able to do with wave start races. The transition area is just a short run out of the water.

Bike:

Just keep focusing on those mountain views as you push through the 22.3Kone-loop bike course. Participants will peddle through the countryside at the base of the Blue Ridge Mountains, finishing back at the same transition area. No big hills on this course, but some challenging shorter climbs mixed in lots of rollers.

Run:

The 5K out & back course is steadily uphill to the turnaround location. 

The course carries participants into a beautiful valley paralleling Bald Mountain Golf Course.

The return trip to the finish line is downhill and finishes on the beach.

Note: The Triathlon does not award overall winners.

3)   Race to the Rock - Run: Total Event Participants: 188

Run (5K) with a reward of a panoramic view of the Hickory Nut Gorge, a medal, and sweet swag.

Note: The #1 overall male winner is an Olympic athlete having participated in the steeple chase in two separate Olympic events. Anthony Famiglietti is an American track and field athlete who competes professionally for Reckless Running. He was formerly sponsored by Adidas. He has competed for the U.S. in the 3000 meter steeplechase at the 2004 Athens Olympic Games and the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games.

Note: The 2nd place overall female winner was 11 years of age.  

         

 

 

4)   Race to the Rock - Bike: Total Event Participants: 73

Starting at the Old Rock Cafe on the west side of Chimney Rock Village, the course makes a 25-mile loop. The timed mass start begins heading east along Memorial Highway. Following the winding roads of Bills Creek, Buffalo Creek and Buffalo Shoals Roads, the course takes you on a scenic trip passing Rumbling Bald Resort and following along the shore road. Cross the iconic Lake Lure Dam and back onto Memorial Highway into Chimney Rock Village.  The course enters Chimney Rock State Park and climbs up the switchback road ending at the base of the Rock with a stunning 75 Mile panoramic view of the Hickory Nut Gorge.

Special Thanks to the Countless Volunteers Who Make The Olympiad Happen Each Year, Especially Kay Dittmer and Pam Keith (pictured in the center photo below) who have volunteered for all 15 years!

    

 

Special Thanks to Buddy Morrison for sharing these beautiful photographs.

 



 

FOR YOUR AWARENESS

 

If you have been attending the monthly Town of Lake Lure, NC Council Meetings, you are aware that the Town is working to implement a land-based, low-pressure sewage collection system.

As a part of this effort, the Town has consulted Bunnell-Lammons Engineering, Inc. (BLE). BLE is working in Town again this week on another phase of the ongoing project which will involve drilling equipment in the road with cautionary signage.  This effort will take several days to complete so please be aware.

If you have any questions, please contact 828-625-9983 or attend the Town Council Meeting on 8/13/19 at 5:00 in the Lake Lure Municipal Hall at 2948 Memorial Highway. This meeting is open to the public.

 



 

THANK YOU FOR ATTENDING PATRICK MCHENRY'S PUBLIC FORUM

 
The Town of Lake Lure, NC had a nice gathering in attendance on Wednesday, August 7, 2019 at Town Hall for the Public Forum with Congressman Patrick McHenry. Congressman McHenry expressed an awareness of and support for Lake Lure's infrastructure priorities.
 
Thank you to all of the constituents who took the time to attend and exchange information with the Congressman.

    



 

 

BANK MERGER IN LAKE LURE

           

Carolina Financial Corporation (Nasdaq: CARO) (“Carolina Financial”) and Carolina Trust BancShares, Inc. (Nasdaq: CART), the parent company of Carolina Trust Bank (together, “Carolina Trust”) jointly announced today the signing of a definitive merger agreement.

Subject to the terms of the merger agreement, Carolina Trust shareholders will receive 0.3000 shares of Carolina Financial common stock, or $10.57 in cash for each share of Carolina Trust’s common stock outstanding, subject to election and proration such that the aggregate consideration will consist of 90 percent Carolina Financial stock and 10 percent cash.  Based on Carolina Financial Corporation’s closing stock price of $35.62 as of July 12, 2019, this equates to an aggregate deal value of approximately $100.1 million.

Carolina Trust, which is headquartered in Lincolnton, North Carolina, currently operates 11 banking locations and a loan production office in and around the Charlotte – Concord – Gastonia, NC-SC metropolitan statistical area.  As of March 31, 2019, Carolina Trust reported assets of $621 million, gross loans of $474 million and deposits of $523 million.

“This transaction allows for Carolina Financial to deepen its market presence in North Carolina. Carolina Trust represents the best opportunity for Carolina Financial to expand our footprint in these markets and the merger will allow us to execute on many of our publicly stated goals,” said Jerry Rexroad, Chief Executive Officer of Carolina Financial. “We welcome the Team Members at Carolina Trust to our organization.  This partnership is an excellent opportunity to create value for both institutions.” Upon completion of the acquisition, the combined company will have over $4.5 billion in assets, $3.1 billion in loans and $3.3 billion in deposits.  This transaction will further solidify Carolina Financial’s position as one of the largest Carolinas-based community banks.

Jerry Ocheltree, President and Chief Executive Officer of Carolina Trust, will be named President of CresCom Bank’s North Carolina Commercial Banking Operations.  “We are excited about partnering with a high-performing company that shares our community banking culture and values like Carolina Financial. We find the strategic fit of the two organizations compelling, especially for our customers that will benefit from the broader array of products and services,” commented Jerry Ocheltree.  “We will leverage the new resources and products available to us through CresCom Bank and are attracted to the opportunity to operate in our current markets with a significantly larger scale.”

The merger agreement has been unanimously approved by the boards of directors of each company.  The transaction is expected to close in the first quarter of 2020 and is subject to customary conditions, including regulatory approval and Carolina Trust shareholder approval.  Upon completion of the transaction, Mr. Johnathan Rhyne, Carolina Trust’s current Chairman of the Board, will be appointed to the Carolina Financial and CresCom Bank boards of directors.

Sandler O’Neill & Partners, LP served as financial advisor and Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough LLP provided legal counsel to Carolina Financial.  Raymond James served as financial advisor and Wyrick Robbins Yates & Ponton LLP served as legal counsel to Carolina Trust.

Please click here to read the rest of the story.

 


 

SPECIAL THANKS FOR KEEPING OUR TRAILS AT THEIR BEST!

 

Thanks to those who supported the Town of Lake Lure and the Rutherford Outdoor Coalition in the Buffalo Creek Park workday on 7/8/19!  This awesome team removed 2 trees that were blocking the trail and trimmed back some plants and trees that were growing into the trail.  They cleaned out all the drainage ditches on the south side of the trail and created over 20 berms to help divert water off of the trail.

WE ALL APPRECIATE YOUR EFFORTS TO MAINTAIN THESE INVALUABLE TRAILS!

 

 


 

LAKE LURE - 10 BEST LAKE TOWNS IN NORTH AMERICA

 

Lake Lure was recently listed as one of Ten Best Lake Towns in North America on SmarterTravel.  (SmarterTravel provides independent expert advice and unbiased reviews for the best travel deals, destinations, and money-saving travel tips.) You may click on the link above to read the entire article or read the reference for Lake Lure below.

At the edge of the Blue Mountains, the scenic town of Lake Lure was the film set for the 1987 blockbuster Dirty Dancing. Several locals were extras in the movie. Each summer, residents relive the magic at the Dirty Dancing Festival with a “Baby & Johnny lake lift” competition.
This lake town is an adventurous getaway less than an hour’s drive from Asheville. There are bumper boats, water cannons, waterslides, and certified ski and wakeboard instructors ready to pull you behind their boats. Sunsets are especially spectacular here and best enjoyed by paddleboat or pontoon cruise.

If you go: Spend some time exploring the Blue Mountains foothills that surround the lake. Chimney Rock State Park is the main attraction. From mountain biking and hiking trails you can take in views of Hickory Nut Gorge and see one of the tallest waterfalls east of the Mississippi. There’s also an area where kids can learn to rock climb.
 

 


 

LAKE LURE DAM UPDATES

Please click here for a summary of the dam’s history, present day realities, findings of the exhaustive analysis that has been recently conducted, and the next steps Town Council is taking to ensure the dam meets current day standards.   

 

 

 


SIGN UP FOR EVERBRIDGE TO RECEIVE IMPORTANT NOTIFICATIONS

 

The Town of Lake Lure's Mass Notification System is Everbridge
 

The Town of Lake Lure is implementing Everbridge, a new Mass Notification service that allows the Town of Lake Lure to alert you when necessary. This is the notification system utilized by Rutherford County and it will replace the Code Red System that is currently in place. You may opt-in to enter your contact information and subscribe based on your location. The information you provide is protected and will not be used for any other purpose.

Timeline

The Town of Lake Lure will complete the transition from Code Red to Everbridge by July 1, 2019. Dual notifications will be made until this date.  You may unsubscribe from Code Red after subscribing to Everbridge to avoid dual notifications.

How It Works

When the Town of Lake Lure issues a notification about a potential safety hazard or concern, you will receive a message on the voice or text communication methods that you have registered. If requested for the notification, you can confirm that you have received the message and you will not be contacted by any subsequent methods regarding that particular notification. If you do not confirm, the system will continue to attempt to reach you at all of the contact paths that you have registered.

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