Projects Funded at Lake; Grant Request Approved

Town commissioners gave Town Manager Damon Kempski approval on Tuesday to file an application for another $2.4 million in grants from the state for Lake Waccamaw’s Water Project.

Last month, the area received $9.2 million in funding from the American Rescue Plan for the replacement, repair, and rehabilitation of the existing, aging sewer infrastructure.  

Kempski filed for the water endowment and the sewer grant simultaneously, but Lake Waccamaw did not meet the requirements at the time for the $2.4 million. 

“We were out of bounds by about 20 points,” stated Kempski as he addressed commissioners.

After working closely with engineers, Kempski now has the application ready for resubmission. 

“I hope to bring you good news in the future,” he told Mayor Matt Wilson. 

The town has been working on improving its water and sewer systems for years.

Campground improvements planned

The owner the Lake Waccamaw Campground, Lynn Hinnant, appeared before Mayor Wilson and commissioners for a second time Tuesday night. Hinnant was present for July’s meeting to discuss camper regulations at the Lake.  

He recently purchased the property known as the One Stop Convenience Store and other lots around the building, as well as the Dupree contract that allows for boat storage at the Campground Pavilion. He’s held events for the community, church groups, and students at the site since he gained ownership. 

Hinnant wants to move forward with upgrades and improvements to the campground and is requesting commercial rezoning and a special permit that will allow the boats to be moved to a larger area near the One Stop.  

“I want to restore it to the way it used to be when I was a kid,” said Hinnant.  

The planning board gave their recommendation to town leaders to approve Hinnant’s request, and a public hearing has been set for Oct. 11 at 6 p.m. 

More good news at the Lake 

Commissioner Rosemary Dorsey gave an update from the steering committee on the bicycle and pedestrian survey. The N.C. Department of Transportation reported that 235 residents chimed in the project and said safety was their top concern in the plan. Dorsey says the committee will let the subject be a major focus during this process.

Other business

• Kempski announced that the Boys and Girls Home of North Carolina will be resuming their annual ‘Safe Night’ event on Oct. 31 from 6 – 8:30 p.m. The tradition has been canceled since 2020 due to the pandemic.  

• The Conquer Chiari Walk with Christy will take place on Sept. 17 at 9 a.m. at Elizabeth Brinkley Park.

Chiari Malformation is a condition in which the lower part of the brain, called the cerebellar tonsil, herniates down through the skull and into the spinal canal. The herniated tissue blocks the normal flow of cerebrospinal fluid. 

Christy Harrelson was diagnosed with the condition in July 2021. Her goal is to bring awareness to the disease and raise money for research with this event. A silent auction and other fundraisers will also be going on during the walk.  

• The Cycle NC tour will be coming through Lake Waccamaw on Oct. 8. Cyclists will be stopping through at the Depot Museum and other points in the area that Saturday morning. This year’s route takes the peloton from Lake Junaluska to Holden Beach. 

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