Lake Board Honors Brandt, Darlings

Lake Commissioners honored the East Columbus Dixie Darlings Tuesday.
Lake Commissioners honored the East Columbus Dixie Darlings Tuesday.

Commissioners also received a final update on the use of UTVs on town streets.

Lake Waccamaw commissioners had a brief but busy meeting Tuesday.

Mayor Matt Wilson started the evening off with a moment of silence for the Jeb Baldwin family, and led a tearful invocation that included prayers for the relatives of the teenager and the first responders who have been out on the water since Mother’s Day.  Baldwin disappeared after falling off a kayak Sunday.

Police Chief Scott Hyatt was also praised for his quick response when 911 dispatched the call. Hyatt immediately jumped in his boat and was able to pull the other two gentlemen from the water. Both individuals were brought to shore and treated for hypothermia.  

Town Manager Damien Kempski was not present at the meeting, but sent word through Clerk Meredith Parker that the outpouring of support from both local and state agencies was unexpected and greatly appreciated.  

The East Columbus Darlings Dixie Youth softball league and their coaches thanked Wilson and town commissioners for the purchase of a golf cart last month to aid in the grading of area ballfields. Wilson joked with the girls before the meeting about his attire; in an unusual step for Wilson, he was wearing a necktie.  

“We all know I never wear a tie. I put one on just for you ladies,” laughed the mayor.

The town already owns equipment to turn the clay-soil mixture, and the cart was bought for $5,000. Previously, Joey Clewis was volunteering his time and his own equipment to maintain fields. 

Another Lake Waccamaw resident was surprised with framed certificate of appreciation for her outstanding community service. 

Ruth Brandt was presented with a certificate of appreciation by Mayor Matt Wilson and the town commissioners. Brandt is well known for her zeal for keeping Lake Waccamaw clean of litter.

Ruth Brandt can often be found picking up trash by herself or with her grandchildren, and her dedication to keeping the Lake clean inspired town leaders to recognize her for her efforts.  

“I remember one day she flagged me down, and she was trying to pull up an old tire. I think that tire had been there for a hundred years or more,” said Wilson. He explained how Brandt said “she could really get down in there if she had some hip waders.”

Lake Waccamaw will be allowing utility vehicles (UTVs) to access local roads. It was decided the town was unable to go against a state law that was put into place last October governing the use of side-by-sides.  

In North Carolina, these vehicles are only to be operated on streets and highways where the posted speed limit is 55 mile per hour or less. A modified utility vehicle may not be operated on any street or highway having four or more travel lanes unless the posted speed limit is 35 miles per hour or less. According to town attorney Scott Sessions, street-legal UTVs are required to equipped with headlamps, parking brakes, rear view mirrors, reflex reflectors, seat belts, a speedometer, brake lights, and turn signals.  

In addition, the owner must provide a vehicle identification number (VIN) to the DMV and pay all fees associated with its use. A windshield with wipers or helmets for all passengers must be used when riding in the UTV.  

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