Lake Discusses Projects; Gator Fest Sponsors Needed

The March Town Hall meeting at Lake Waccamaw covered more than just the water in the lake itself. Well projects, DOT construction, and culverts were the main topics discussion on Tuesday night’s agenda. Commissioners and town leaders waded through the waters and made decisions to keep things flowing in the right direction.

N.C. Soil and Water Conservation (NCSWC) was dispatched recently to the property of Ann Edens at the request of Town Manager Damen Kempski. The owner took the floor during public comment to discuss flooding at both her house and the roadways on Sutton Place Drive.

Culverts and a retention pond belonging to the town catch water runoff next to her home, but a letter sent to Kempski from the NCSWC said that the flooding is being caused by vegetation and sediment buildup in ditches around Columbia Avenue and Pecan Lane. The town has made attempts in recent months to fix the issue, and a contractor will be sent to assess the problem in coming weeks to build a plan of action to bring some relief to the area.

Lake Waccamaw recently received a Directed Projects grant from the 2023 Appropriations Act administered through the Drinking Water Reserve and Wastewater Reserve to assist eligible units of government with meeting their water/wastewater infrastructure needs. The municipality was awarded $1,062,220 to be used for their public water supply Well Water 4 Project. The board unanimously passed a motion and accepted the grant at the meeting.

There is also good news for the town’s wastewater treatment plant. Mayor Matt Wilson and commissioners voted to accept a bid from Burnette Enterprises of Wilmington for the Lift Station Mitigation and WWTP Rehabilitation Project. Bids for the job were opened on Feb. 8 of last month, and the company had the lowest bid at $1,166,020.

NCDOT construction on Chauncey Town Road will continue over the next couple weeks. Originally, the projected timeline to finish digging up the roadway was three days, during which water would be shut off to Lake Waccamaw businesses and residents from 10 p.m. to 4 a.m. Recent rainfall and other setbacks for DOT now have everyone in the area on a boil water advisory until Thursday, March 14. Both the roadwork and another boil water advisory will begin again on Monday, March 18.

Commissioner Terry Littrell commended the hard work of town as they deal with unexpected waterline breaks caused by the road construction.

“Much of the water issues in this town is something we all have to deal with, and much of it is something we don’t have the ability to do anything about,” expressed Littrell. “People just don’t understand how hard the folks in this town are working to keep it going. If you were to see those guys digging down in that hole on Church Street the other day trying to fix that break caused by DOT, it would really make you appreciative of what they are trying to do.”

A new zoning map will be sent to the county for the Lake. Color coding on the old map made commercial and residential zoning almost impossible at times to distinguish. The recent rendering will help both town staff and real estate agents make decisions about the usage of property in the area.

It was a much needed update according to town staff.

“This map was drawn up on March 7, of 2024, ” stated Town Clerk Meredith Parker. “I believe the old one was from 2017,” replied Kempski.

Some important dates and springtime fun are coming to the Boys and Girls Home of NC and to Elizabeth Brinkley Park. Southern Farm Days will run from March 15-17 at the BGHNC. The event will feature good eats, a western show, antiques, a tractor pull, animals, vendors and much more.

Columbus County Parks and Recreation will host an Easter egg hunt at Elizabeth Brinkley Park on March 23 at 11 a.m. The hunt is for all boys and girls up to 12 years old and will be broken down into age divisions for all the little ones. For a list of other egg hunts sponsored by the Columbus County Parks and Recreation, please visit the organization’s Facebook page.

Lake Waccamaw’s second annual Gator Fest is set to kick off on Saturday, April 27. The day will include music by the Pink Slips Band, arts and crafts vendors, food trucks, face painting and a foam party for the kiddos. Flimsy the Clown will also be on site to lead youngsters in games, songs, and other entertainment. For more information or to become a sponsor for Gator Fest, call Lake Waccamaw Town Hall at 910.646.3700, or visit the website at