Plan to Raise Water Levels in Catabwa River

Duke Energy has a plan in place that will raise summer water levels in three lakes on the Catabwa River by six inches. In recent years, municipal water providers and the company have been meeting to discuss extending the time line of how long the river can continue to support business and residential growth in the area and raising water levels would be vital to this plan.

However, the company does not want to increase water levels without first fully examining all impacts it could have. The major concern here is whether raising levels could create a higher risk in high water situations. Lake James would have the highest risk flooding according to their research, but that risk is minuscule compared to potential benefits. The FERC also issued Duke a 40 year license in late 2015, but the company has appealed for an extension to a 50 year license with millions of dollars in improvements contingent on the extension.

The current plan is to raise summer target elevations by the end of 2025 or when the Watertree spillway is complete, whichever one is later. This is not just an issue of water quantity, it becomes an issue for boats to as it could affect whether boats remain afloat or sit on land in the dry summer weather. The goal is to have enough storage to withstand droughts but enough room to be able to withstand major rain events. According to the company, drought is a more pressing issue than potential flooding and thus the benefits of raising water levels outweigh the flood risk. In fact, it was a major drought in the late 1990s and early 2000s that began the conversation in Catabwa about possible solutions.

Current research shows that by 2048 the demand for water use will outweigh the amount the river is able to supply so this will be an important issue in the near future. To read more about potential benefits to Duke’s plans, be sure to check out the full article at heraldonline.com

York County Council Asking to Vote on Concrete Plant

In mid-August, county planners met and discussed plans for a concrete plant on Bethel School Road. Although this plan has not yet been approved, city council members are worried about its effects on citizens and how much they would be able to interfere to help. This issue has sparked a conversation about what the county should allow without a council vote.

As it stands, if land uses are listed in zoning and the project meets density, building, and traffic requirements, there is little a city council can do to stop something from being built. In the case that a special exception is made, the proposals can go to vote on the council, which is what leaders are trying to do in the case of the concrete plant.

People have argued both for and against building this new plant. Many people do not want the plant so close to family homes and rural areas. But many others supported the economic development that new business would bring to the area. It has also been compared to a plant at another site that has been causing traffic problems. The county’s main concerns are what the plant would do to the property value of homes in the area as well as potential traffic problems it could cause on a small road headed to a school.

If the county decides to make concrete and quarry plans an exception, the council would be allowed to vote on each issue and look at each one individually in terms of how it would affect the community rather than companies just being able to build whenever zoning allows it.

Council members say that zoning in the area is outdated and are working hard to change that. It is unclear how quickly these changes can come but to read more about what council members are doing to progress and what potential affects of a concrete plant would be, be sure to check out the full article at www.heraldonline.com

Push for One Fishing License on Lake Wylie

The Lake Wylie Marine Commission is now contemplating whether anglers should be able to get just one license to fish in Lake Wylie. Not only would this make things easier and less expensive for the fishers themselves, but it would make things easier for the patrol officers on the lake itself.

Currently, with the a state line bisecting the lake, fishers need a license for both sides of the lake but there has long been a discussion over whether it would be possible or practical to get fishers a reciprocal license that would work on both sides. Reasons throughout the years supporting a single license include convenience and cost and more simplicity for officers on the lake. Reasons against it involve money and how the two states would split proceeds based on where the angler was caught and where the license was purchased.

The last time the issue was brought up in 2014, S.C. Senator Hayes admitted that South Carolina could lose money. This would be because North Carolina has two counties on the lake as opposed to South Carolina’s one and Charlotte has a larger population.

There are multiple agreements regarding bi-state waters between states like North Carolina, Georgia, and South Carolina so there is a precedent for this kind of law. But getting legislation passed between two states is very challenging and that may be why the issue has been in discussion for years without major progress. S.C. Senator Climer has stated that he is unsure that there is enough political interest to get a solution but thinks the issue is definitely worth looking into and that the discussion will continue.

To continue reading possible solutions and the benefits this dual license could offer, be sure the check out the full article at www.heraldonline.com

Lake Wylie Home Project May Have To Be Put On Hold

There have been recent plans by a developer for a 178 home project at a new subdivision called The Vista at lake Wylie. This subdivision would be located at 457 Highway 274 near Pole Branch Road. Although the plans fit land-use criteria, some county staff is recommending the request be denied when the planning commission meets August 14th.

The reason for this recommendation is traffic. A traffic analysis cannot be completed until two major road improvements are completed, both of which have yet to happen. The first is a signal and road relocation of S.C. 24 and Pole Branch Road and the second involves intersection changes at three points.

The first is estimated to be completed in a reasonable amount of time because the entire plan has already been funded and approved by a Pennies for Progress campaign. The second part is up for another Pennies for Progress referendum in November. The $7.4 million project would have no other funding and there are no guarantees at this time that it would be approved.

According to current traffic reports, levels of service on nearby roads are receiving failing grades. With the new neighborhood, developers would pay for new access points to S.C. 274 and Pole Branch Road

York City Councilwoman Allison Love has said she wouldn’t support this new development in the area no matter what the outcome of a traffic study is. She has said that Pennies projects currently being finished will fix traffic problems and adding new neighborhoods would increase traffic again, negating and progress or improvement. She also supports recommending denial for now in this matter.

To read more about this development and what the possible outcomes will be, be sure to check out the full article at www.heraldonline.com

Company given stop order for home project in Lake Wylie

Mattamy Homes has been working on a project in Y0rk County, by Lake Wylie. Lake Crest, the site of the project was originally zoned for 175 homes on 85 acres of land and is one of many ongoing residential developments in Lake Wylie under the company. However, a stop order has just been issued for the project, halting any construction.

Stop orders are issued to halt construction until certain environmental standards are met but the exact cause of this order has not been released. This is not the first time this has happened in Lake Crest. Back in 2015, a notice of violations was issued to the site citing that the company disturbed land outside the delineated zone. A notice of violations is issued before further actions are taken in the form of a stop order.

This 2015 incident was when Allison Love first decided to run for York County Council. Her campaign cited runoff and over development as causes for concern for the health of the lake. Now, as a current member of council, Love has the same goals. She has participated in ongoing committee work to keep sediment out of Lake Wylie in an effort to protect it. She also plans on meeting with environmentalists and state legislators later in the week to further discuss these issues.

For more on Love’s position and goals as well as the status of the Lake Crest development, be sure to check out the full article at www.charlotteobserver.com

New program created to keep South Carolina’s lakes clean

The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control is partnering with Clemson University to expand a water monitoring program that has been successful in York County for years. This program will rely on the public’s help to monitor the quality of water in streams and lakes in South Carolina.

This program is called the Adopt-a-Stream program and South Carolina program leaders hope it will meet the same level of success as a similar program in Georgia. Volunteer groups would be provided with training classes and a database for water quality information, as well as any other necessary resources. These groups will meet each month to document stream conditions and alert the state of quality problems, illegal discharge, and other potential issues.

This program is a large expansion of an Adopt-a-Stream program in York County that has been in effect for 8 years. However, that program was just a campaign to clean up trash in the rivers. The new program will expand that to monitoring actual water quality and reporting it to the proper authorities.

With a major state agency backing it, leaders are hopeful that this program will be able to make real changes in the quality of South Carolina’s water. Leaders say that one of the main problems with water quality is that not enough samples are taken. They are hoping that this program will provide more reliable, complete data to improve South Carolina’s waterways.

To learn more about what the responsibilities are for volunteers and the positive impact this program could have, be sure to check out the full article at www.heraldonline.com

New technology to prevent pool drownings

After a close call with a 2 year old girl earlier this week, Belmont’s YMCA is training with a new technology designed to prevent pool drownings. Earlier in the week, paramedics arrive at Ballantyne’s YMCA to respond to a drowning call. A lifeguard had pulled the young girl from the pool and she was alert and breathing. The girl’s father later reported that luckily she was doing fine.

In response to this incident, lifeguard’s have begun working with a new technology developed by Dr. Graham Snyder, a pediatrician from Raleigh. He had dealt with many tragic drownings in the past and developed the new “swim safe” neck bands in response to that.

The band is designed to fit around the child’s neck before they go into the pool. If the child is underwater for more than 15 seconds, the band will begin to flash and sound an alarm to alert nearby lifeguards. Dr. Snyder said that he had seen too many young children die from drowning over the years and wanted to develop something to help remedy that. If the bands are a success in Gaston County, the plan is to expand their use throughout the rest of North Carolina. This technology could be vital to saving many young children in  the future.

To read more about this new invention and how it can help North Carolina children, be sure to check out the full article at www.wsoctv.com

Popular restaurant opens new Lake Wylie location

The lake Wylie area just continues to grow and recently had yet another restaurant opening to add to its ever-growing list of dining options.

The much anticipated Sake Express Japanese steakhouse and Sushi just opened its fourth  location in Mill Creek Commons Center in Lake Wylie. This recent opening is the largest of the four locations that are currently open in Belmont, Mount Holly and Gastonia.

Totaling 4,900 square feet of cooking and dining pleasure, locals and visitors alike can take advantage of great Japanese food from 10 AM to 10:30 PM Monday through Saturday and from 11 AM to 9 PM on Sunday.  The menu features creative sushi rolls, bento boxes, Teppanyaki noodles, and so much more. The restaurant prides itself on great food and fantastic service, and it is a wonderful spot for families or a date night.

Mill Creek Commons is strategically located at the intersection of SC Highway 274 and SC Highway 557 and is a 75-acre master-planned retail development anchored by Lowes Home Improvement and Walmart. The shopping center also includes a “proposed 14.59-acre junior box retail development and 10 outparcels.” Five outparcels have already been sold or leased to Bank of America, Wachovia, Walgreens, Zaxby’s and McDonald’s. There are still five out parcels left for sale or lease.
For more details and information on this new dining option in Mill Creek Commons, check out the article at Gastongazette.com.

Philly food comes to Lake Wylie

New dining options seem to be popping up all over town in Lake Wylie, and it is always exciting when there is a new type of food for residents to enjoy that wasn’t previously easy to find.
A new restaurant just opened that will make Philadelphia transplants and cheesesteak lovers alike very happy. Now, Lee’s Hoagie House has roots in Lake Wylie, South Carolina.

It is the first franchise for the company to open outside of the Philadelphia area, and with Lake Wylie not having a cheesesteak and hoagie dining option, the company thought the town seemed like a great fit to move to. Furthermore, Lee’s plans to open a location in Asheville in the next three months, with a possible Charlotte location on the horizon as well. The Charlotte region is known to be home to many transplants from the northeast region, so the move for the company to this area of the country seemed only natural.
The Lake Wylie location of Lee’s Hoagie House will be located at 312 Bulkhead Way, Suite 101, in Lake Wylie Commons.

Lee’s Hoagie House has been serving cheesesteaks and other hoagie sandwiches in and around Philadelphia since 1953.  For more information on the new sandwich shop in town, be sure to read the full article that CharlotteObserver.com.

New infrastructure projects are happening in Lake Wylie

Many new developments are on the horizon for Lake Wylie, particularly infrastructure projects, which are great for the city, its residents, and the local economy. Most recently, a $1.75 million construction contract was awarded by York County Council for an intersection realignment at SC 557, Griggs Road and Bate Harvey Road, right beside Griggs Road Elementary School. The project should help with the traffic and safety of the area, and it is slated for completion by the end of 2017.

A lane-widening project is also underway at SC 274 and 279, and the $25.7 million  project is expected to be completed in 2020. Another multi-lane widening project of SC 557 that only totals about $4.3 million will also be completed in the same year. As far as this year is concerned, residents can expect a shoulder-widening on Paraham Road, with completion anticipated for this fall.

These infrastructure projects are part of the Pennies program, which has been very successful overall but has faced cost estimate issues. Many projects have turned out to be more expensive than anticipated, and there are discussions on how to fix this. There is a new staff in place overseeing the program, which could assist in making better cost estimates, as well as utilities assessments.

Overall, there is plenty of positive change in the pipeline for the infrastructure of Lake Wylie, and the Pennies project has been widely successful in helping to implement this change. For more details on these infrastructure projects and others and what it means for Lake Wylie as well as York County as a whole, be sure to read the full article at heraldonline.com.