President's Corner

We are fortunate to have great presenters at our monthly LGA meetings. I wanted to share some information from our August and September meetings.


In August, Barney Watson Broker/ Realtor with Re/Max on the Lake provided a real estate update for Lake Gaston. Barney has provided a summary of key points from his presentation for this bulletin.


In the first eight months of 2018, 150 waterfront homes closed averaging $439,316 each verse 169 in the same eight months last year, a decrease of 10.35% as measured in dollar sales. Offshore home sales have increased, 17.21% over 2017 sales with 86 sold averaging $125,863 each. Waterfront lot sales were also up slightly with 44 sold in 2018 at an average sales price of $137,674. Total closed land and home sales in the Lake Gaston market for the first eight months of this year are $85,487,590 versus $89,114,880 in the same period of 2017 or a decrease of 4.07%.


All statistics are from the Roanoke Valley Lake Gaston Board of REALTORS® Multiple Listing Service (MLS) and do not include private sales.


Buyer activity is strong, we are lacking quality inventory in some price ranges and interest rates in our area are still at 4.25% for a 30-year mortgage and 3.875% for a 15-year mortgage.


Lake Gaston’s current economy is good; we continue steady growth. We expect potential buyer activity and real estate sales to remain strong going into the last months of 2018 and 2019.


In September, our local sheriffs provided updates regarding law enforcement around the lake. Some important points to share include:


When possible, it is best to use landlines when placing 9-1-1 emergency calls. For cellular 9-1-1 emergency calls, it is important to tell the operator the county and state where the emergency is located and your address to ensure the call is routed to the appropriate center. There are Brunswick, Mecklenburg, Warren, Halifax and Northampton counties in both NC and VA. You could end up with the wrong county EMS. It is anticipated in several years the area will convert to NG 911 (Next Generation) and cell towers will be able to triangulate to your exact location.


The Sheriffs also reported a slight increase in burglaries from the water impacting boathouses. The installation of inexpensive trail (deer) cameras on your property and entrances to subdivisions are a tool to help law enforcement. It is important to keep a record of serial numbers for televisions and all other electronic devices for recovery purposes.


Until next time!


~ Mozine Lowe, LGA President


Eaton Ferry Bridge Construction Project

The construction project slated to perform rehabilitation of the Eaton Ferry Bridge, as well as perform causeway repairs, is scheduled to begin mid-July. The schedule continues through May 23, 2019. The contract has a few stipulations in regards to limitation of 2-way traffic across the bridge; Through the Tuesday after Labor Day (9/4/2018), limitation to 2-way traffic can only occur Monday through Thursday, at any time, EXCEPT during the hours of 5:00 a.m. and 9:00 a.m. as well as 4:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. That means that anytime outside those hours, limitation to 2-way traffic can occur. That also means that no limitation in 2-way traffic can occur from 5:00 a.m. Friday through 10:00 p.m. Sunday.


After 9/4/2018, Lane Closures can occur at any time except during our general holiday schedule, which will overlap Thanksgiving and Christmas, New Years, and Easter. Traffic limitations will occur via a temporary automatic raffic signal or flagging operation on smaller closures. These closures, due to limitations stated within the contract, should not interfere with any planned in regards to vehicular traffic.


Marine traffic will be affected by this project as well. At all times, the contractor is required to maintain at least 2 open bays for marine traffic underneath the bridge. This project includes concrete repairs on the bridge interior bents (concrete columns that go into the water). The contractor will be constructing a temporary structure/trestle underneath the bridge to allow for the workers to access underneath the bridge for repairs and painting be done. This will be in place during a significant portion of the project.There will be clear delineation via buoys in the water to promote the path marine traffic is to maintain.


In regard to emergency vehicles, a separate meeting will be held with the local officials to discuss emergency vehicle access. The temporary automatic traffic signal is equipped to determine an emergency vehicle is in need of crossing the bridge. The signal can receive notification via a vehicle equipped signal or by the sound of the siren on the vehicle. Once a notification as been received, the signal should turn green to allow the emergency vehicle to pass. This will occur after the last oncoming vehicle has passed to prevent a collision from occurring. More detail will be available at the time of the meeting with emergency officials. Also, Lane Closures are not going to be continuous along the entire causeway/bridge structure. They will only occur where the work is being performed.


Overview of presentation at LGA’s Annual meeting on 6/11/16 and links to videos

Mr. Larry Meddock, the Chairman of the Water Sports Industry Association, who first gave a brief personal background and an overview of how the WSIA began and what it does currently, including working with the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA), the US Coast Guard and other state and federal agencies, to advance safety in the operation and enjoyment of Water Sports products from vessels in all classes to inflatables.


Larry identified the two leading causes of accidents, injuries and fatalities as Boating Under the Influence (BUI) and operator inattention. A significant number of incidents resulting from BUI occur during what can be referred to as “Booze Cruises”. These are often at night with poor lighting and too much liquid courage. A number of the operator inattention incidents involve injuries to persons/children being towed on inflatables. Coast Guard statistics reflect that such activity has the highest incidence of accidents of all causes.


Larry showed several videos including one addressing the life changing results of a night “Booze Cruise” which resulted in the collision of a vessel with a dock resulting in multiple injuries and one fatality. Such accidents are easy to avoid with proper planning and execution to include assuring that the vessel operator is not intoxicated by having a designated abstaining driver. Watch the VIDEO.


Larry then showed a CGI (computer generated image) video that highlighted all of the major rules and guidelines for safe towing of skiers, boarders, and inflatables. Studies have identified greater public acceptance without bias based responses to CGI representation of people rather than live models/actors. Larry provided a handout available from WSIA that includes a summary of the rules and guidelines for safe towing. The videos show the safest practices including those associated with towing multiple inflatables. Watch the VIDEO.


He also showed a short video addressing operator courtesy when operating “Wake” boats including methods for sharing the water and maintaining healthy relationships between people enjoying the water in different ways. He last addressed some of the current activity looking at how to make use and wear of life jackets more automatic for all ages just as the use of seat belts in vehicles has become. Watch the VIDEO.