The January White Lake Town Board meeting began with the recognition of the retirements of four long-time employees. Mayor Goldston Womble recognized Tim Frush, Public Works Director; Town Board Member, Brenda Clark, (not present) Town Clerk; Bill Stafford, Sewer/Waste Director; and Ricky Smith, Police Officer, who have retired in the last few months. Mayor Womble praised them for their professionalism and their loyalty to him and the Town.
Several utility releases ($951.42) and tax releases ($196.83) were approved. The Limnosciences was included in the Commissioner's agenda packet. It reported on the total annual rainfall and lake level variability for 2021. Since "the pH of rain has changed considerably over time," the lake has trended from 4.6 in the 1970's to 5.9 recently. Much information about the lake water quality can be found at whitelakewatch.com.
The biggest part of the meeting discussed a preliminary strategic plan for the lake management plan. The Town has partnered with the Lumber River Council of Governments to begin the process of developing a lake management plan. The cost of this work would be $22,000 during the time frame of February 1 - September 30, 2022. Mr. Jim Perry outlined several preliminary work tasks to be undertaken as part of the strategic planning process:
Delineation of Authority - there needs to be a clear understanding by all involved parties of the state's goals and objectives and how they mesh with the town's desires for the use of lake.
Popular Opinion Tasks
Connection to Land Use Planning
Motion was passed to move forward with this process.
No doubt about it, White Lake is a hopping place between Memorial Day and Labor Day. Getting in the water is the #1 activity during that time, but there are many other ways to enjoy White Lake during the Labor Day to Memorial Day period.
There are lots of days when the weather is very pleasant. Recently, in the middle of December we had a day with a high of 81 degrees which makes for a great day at the lake. You can read a book or just look out over the water. And you can sit in the sun, instead of the shade, and feel the warmth along with a cool breeze. With the sun rising and setting at a different angle in the off season the water magically glistens. Some even think the winter atmospheric conditions make the famous White Lake sunsets even more stunning. You can still use a motorboat, canoe or kayak, just don’t fall in.
There are lots of days in the off season when the water is so still it looks like a mirror. Less boat traffic definitely contributes to this calmness. You can even hear noises across the lake, it’s that quiet. Some think the lake water clarity is better in the off season.
Maybe you like it better when it’s not so crowded. Less standing in line or waiting on others. Several businesses have made an effort to stay open during the off season. More motels are open all year than ever before. And believe it or not, there are 8 places to eat at White Lake every day, all year round.
Birdwatchers have an unbelievable array of waterfowl at White Lake, especially in the off season. Many migratory birds stop here. You can enjoy kingfishers, herons, geese, osprey, loons, and an occasional eagle and several types of ducks.
Holiday decorating makes White Lake even more beautiful in December. More than ever before people are going all out to decorate their homes and businesses and especially their piers with thousands of lights for the holidays. You can even enjoy one of the biggest celebrations around with food, beverage and live music as White Lake counted down the clock on New Year’s Eve.
Mayor Goldston Womble swore in newly re-elected commissioners Tim Blount, Mike Suggs and Paul Evans to begin the December monthly meeting. Town Clerk, Brenda Clark retired after many years in November. The Town is moving forward with that hiring process and has named Town Administrator Sean Martin as the interim Town Clerk. Mayor Womble, Town Administrator Sean Martin and Commissioners Hilton and Evans will work as a temporary hiring subcommittee to fill the positions of Town Clerk and Public Works Director.
At one point recently three of the six police officer positions in Town were unfilled. The Board discussed ways to add salary and benefit adjustments that are more than “just a bandaid” and approved a law enforcement recruitment and retention program to assist Police Chief Bruce Smith.
Once again, a lengthy discussion ensued with lake water quality issues and the report to the board from Diane Lauritsen, Ph.D. The report showed data for monthly rainfall, lake water levels, spring flow rates, and the presence of aquatic weeds. The operation of the decontamination station to be used before launching boats at White Lake Marina and the possibility of moving some of the no wake buoys so that they are all in the same depth of water were also mentioned in the report. The full report can be found at https://whitelakewatch.com. The Board discussed the lack of rainfall and the worrisome declining lake water level. Commissioner Blount expressed his desire to get more involvement from the local representatives in the NC General Assembly.
The town offices will be closed on December 23, 24, 27 and 31 for the holidays. As is customary, a public works employee will be on call for any water or sewer emergencies and can be reached by calling 911.
Dec. 1 - Elizabethtown Baptist Church with Corey Lyons speaking
Dec. 8 - Elizabethtown Presbyterian with Jason Williams speaking.
Dec. 15 - Trinity UMC with Rudy Ramphal speaking.
Dec. 22 - St. Christopher's Episcopal with Lindsay Collins speaking.
The NC FFA Center at White Lake has been budgeted a $1.5 million grant in the recently passed and signed state budget. These funds will be used for repairs to the facilities at White Lake. The local Center is the 2nd oldest FFA facility in the country, dating back to 1928.
The NC FFA Center plans to start accepting inquiries from groups in January 2022 for the traditional season of April through October. In addition, the FFA members in high schools throughout the state are expected next summer.
Local businesses are sure to enjoy seeing this traffic return next summer after being absent the last two summers. Restaurants and stores are especially impacted.
Groups wanting to reserve space at the NC FFA Center can call 919-515-4206 for more information.
On Sunday, November 28th, 2021, Elizabethtown held their annual Christmas Parade.
Elizabethtown-White Lake Area
2021 CHRISTMAS PARADE
brought to you by Star Communications
Sunday, November 28, 2021 at 3:00 pm
Sunday, November 28th
Merchant Sidewalk Sales
Elf Scavenger Hunt
Christmas at the Farmers Market
Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony
Storefront Decorating Contest
Dublin held their annual Tree Lighting tonight at 6:00 p.m. Shortly after Santa Claus arrived by fire truck. Refreshments were served on this chilly night.
Come for the Shopping, Stay for the Lights
DOWNTOWN ELIZABETHTOWN, NC
Elf Scavenger Hunt at stores.
Turn in your cards by Dec. 19th for a chance to win a giant stocking filled with items donated by local merchants.
See OFFICIAL Rules and get your OFFICIAL Card by visiting the chambers website: