From swimming pool pumps to dams and sidewalks, the Seven Lakes Landowners Association [SLLA] Board of Directors reviewed a number of maintenance projects during their Monday, March 9 Work Session.


Ramapo Dam Study

On the unanimous recommendation of the Lakes & Dams Committee, the Board moved forward to the Open Meeting a proposal to commission Jewell Engineering — the SLLA's dam engineer — to assess the capacity of the Ramapo Dam spillways, make recommendations for any design changes needed, and provide an assessment of the dam's ability to handle a fifty-year storm. The study is expected to cost $7,000.

The proposed study had generated significant debate during the Board's February 9 Work Session. Former Director and Lakes & Dams Committee member Don Fentzlaff argued that the dam experienced a 100-year rain event in 2013, when more than six inches of rain fell in less than five hours. Despite the fact that the primary spillway was not functioning at the time, the existing emergency spillways handled the overflow with no problems.

When President Bob Racine raised that point during the March 9 Work Session, Community Manager Ray Sohl argued that thunderstorms are highly localized, so it is not clear what volume of rain actually fell in the Lake Ramapo drainage area during that particular storm.

The NC Dam Safety Office, which is charged with inspecting dams throughout the state, classifies Ramapo as a low-hazard dam — one which, if it failed, would cause no more than $30,000 in property damage or interrupt the travel of no more than 25 vehicles per day.

That means repairs and modifications to the dam do not require state approval — and state approval was not obtained for repairs to the primary Ramapo spillway undertaken in late 2013, when the Association spent approximately $10,000 to install a siphon system to replace the collapsed metal pipe that had previously served as the dam's primary outlet.

"Though state approval is not required," Sohl said, "the Assocaition still has the responsibility to ensure that the dam is maintained according to engineering standards."

"We as board members are elected to act in the welfare of the people on this community," Director Chuck Leach said, supporting Sohl's point.

"There are thirty houses around that dam. We have two engineering firms recommending this study. Should that dam fail, there is a chance of a loss of property values. We recommended spending $4,000 to repair a lighthouse that does nothing. I totally support this proposal."

Ultimately, the Board voted unanimously to send the proposal to the Open Meeting for a vote. Racine noted that he felt is should be moved to the Open Meeting, but was not sure whether he would ultimately vote in favor of the proposal.

Read more: Plenty of SLLA Projects Pending

Bernadette York, John Shaughnessy, and Jack Lattin were elected to the Board of Directors of the Seven Lakes West Landowners Association [SLWLA] during the Sunday, March 15 Annual Meeting. They replace Dan Blue, Bruce Keyser, and Jim Pierman on the Board.

Vote tallies were not announced during the meeting, based on a 2012 consensus decision of the Board to change the Annual Meeting procedure. Nor will those tallies be released to The Times by the Board or office staff, though they are available to members by contacting the office.

York's election is unusual in that she gained a spot on the ballot through the petition process, after being interviewed and then rejected by the Nominations Committee.

The proposed FY2016 Budget won the support of 389 members, while 186 voted to reject it, suggesting that a bit more than one third of the membership participated in the election. The budget includes a 3.6 percent dues increase for improved lots and a 7.3 percent increase for undeveloped lots.

Read more: York, Lattin, & Shaughnessy Join Westside Board

SLWLA LogoSix candidates will compete for three open seats in the Annual Meeting balloting for the Seven Lakes West Landowners Association Board of Directors.
They are Jim Beaty, Jim Greaves, John Hildebrand, Jack Lattin, John Shaughnessy, and Bernadette York.
The Times’ Ellen Marcus interviewed each of the candidates by telephone, using the same set of questions as conversation starters.
We asked about the opportunities and challenges facing Seven Lakes West, about the candidate’s previous experience and preferred assignment is elected. We asked about dues increases and controlling expenses. And we asked how the community should respond to its growing diversity.
Our goal was not so much to elicit specific answers to our questions as to give the candidates an opportunity to talk about their understanding of where Seven Lakes West is and where it should be heading — and how they might contribute to moving the community in that direction.
You’ll find summaries of our interviews below.

Read more: The Times Interviews Westside Candidates

[An abridged version of this article appeared in the February 20 edition of The Times. Jump to the questions and answers that weren't included in the print edition.]

SLLA LogoMembers of the Seven Lakes Land-owners Association [SLLA] gathered on Wednesday, February 4 to meet the six candidates for their Board of Directors.

The candidates were given up to six minutes for introductory remarks on their background and experience, challenges and opportunities facing the Association, and how their talents and skills might help the organization meet those challenges and take advantage of those opportunities.

Afterwards, Seven Lakes Times Editor Greg Hankins, who moderated the event, asked the candidates questions that had been submitted in writing by audience members.

The six candidates, who are vying for four open seats on the Board, include Joy Smith, Bob Racine, Greg Lishawa, Mark Gyure, Dave Hill, and Lawton Baker. Racine and Hill are both current members of the Board.

Read more: SLLA Candidates' Night


It was standing room only at the Seven Lakes West Landowners Association [SLWLA] Candidates’ Night on Tuesday, February 3.

Candidates Jim Beaty, Jim Greaves, John Hildebrand, Jack Lattin, John Shaughnessy, and Bernadette York sat facing the audience. Community Manager Jeanette Mendence, who moderated the session, explained that each candidate would be allowed up to a three minute introduction. They would then be asked six questions, suggested by Association members, with two minutes to respond to each.

Read more: Seven Lakes West Candidates' Night

Six Bs, nine Cs, and five Ds. No As, and no Fs.

Moore County's public schools, along with all of the public schools in the state, were given letter grades on Thursday, February 5. It's something new for North Carolina, mandated by the General Assembly.

Union Pines High School received a B; Pinecrest and North Moore both had Cs.

Among the middle schools, only West Pine received a B. New Century and Elise both received Cs, and Southern Pines and Crain's Creek Middle received Ds.

Among the elementary schools, there were four Bs: West Pine, Pinehurst, Sandhills Farm Life, and Southern Pines.

West End Elementary, Vass-Lakeview, Highfalls, Carthage, and Cameron received Cs. Westmoore, Aberdeen, and Robbins received Ds.

Two Moore County charter schools also received letter grades. The Academy of Moore received a B; STARS scored a D.

Parents of students at D-graded schools will be getting a letter noting the low score.


Read more: Moore County Schools Get Letter Grades. Do They Mean Anything?

Seven Lakes Country Club officially has new owners. Golf Seven Lakes LLC, headed up by industry veterans Larry Galloway and Jon Whittemore, closed the transaction on Tuesday, January 27.

"The members have been phenomenal," Galloway told The Times. "I can't remember the last time I felt so welcomed by a group of people."

The membership met on Sunday, December 14 and voted to dissolve Seven Lakes Country Club, Inc., to facilitate the sale of its assets.

As The Times reported in December, Galloway and Whittemore are both alumni of ClubCorp, the largest owner of private golf and country clubs in the US. ClubCorp owned Pinehurst Resort and Country Club from the mid-1980s until 2006.

The two men also worked together at Century Golf Partners, a golf management and consulting firm that has rights to the Arnold Palmer Golf Management brand.

The pair have acquired acquired three other courses in the past couple of years: Serenoa Golf Club and Rolling Green Golf Club in Sarasota, FL, and West Ridge Golf Club in McKinney, TX, which is part of the greater Dallas-Fort Worth area.

Whittemore resides in Florida; Galloway, in Texas.

Read more: Deal Closed on Seven Lakes Country Club

Moore County's Board of Commissioners have turned down a bid by Sheriff Neil Godfrey to create a four-officer traffic enforcement team with a potential yearly price tag of nearly $250,000.

The vote came in a Tuesday, January 27 Special Meeting of the Board called to consider the Sheriff's request to apply for two state grants. The first grant would have partially funded the traffic enforcement team for three years. 

A second grant application, which was approved by the Commissioners, will allow the Sheriff's Office to add a drug diversion investigator, focused on prescription drug abuse, to the existing narcotics division.


Maybe next year

Though they declined to support the Sheriff's application for a $477,523 grant from the Governor's Highway Safety Program this year, the Commissioners did not close the door permanently.

Chairman Nick Picerno explained that the county is in the midst of a revaluation of all real estate for tax purposes — and early indications are that the overall assessed value of property in the county will decline. That will lower the tax base — and also lower county property tax revenues, unless the Commissioners agree to raise the tax rate, something they have pledged not to do.

Picerno said he was also aware, based on preliminary budget conversations with Sheriff Godfrey, that the Sheriff's Office will need to add personnel at the detention center and replace some aging vehicles in the next budget cycle.

"If you're adding cost, you're going to have to pay for it," Picerno told his fellow Commissioners. "And we already know that, if we keep our commitment to keep the tax rate where it is, we are going to have less revenue — and the cost of health care, our employees, is all going to go up."

Picerno suggested that the proposed grant application be brought back to the Commissioners next year — and also suggested that the Sheriff and Commissioners look at any additional staffing needs during the upcoming FY2016 budget process.

Picerno ultimately put that suggestion in the form of a motion that was unanimously approved by the Board.

Read more: Board nixes traffic enforcement team - at least for this year

SLLA LogoLandowners in Seven Lakes North and South could see a $25 increase in annual dues, if the Seven Lakes Landowners Association [SLLA] Board of Directors approve a draft budget presented during their Monday, January 12 Work Session.

With little comment, the Directors voted unanimously to move the draft budget and dues increase, which were recommended by the Finance Committee, to the January 28 Open Meeting for a vote. The recommended dues hike must be approved by a majority of the members voting at the Annual Meeting in March.

The $25 increase would apply to all landowners, lifting total annual dues for improved lots to $1,050; and to $720 for unimproved lots. Dues on an additional lots owned by a member would increase to $547 per year.

Without the increase, the Association's FY 2016 revenues are projected to be $1,462,141; with the increase, revenues will total $1,499,716, a difference of $37,575. The SLLA currently includes 1,503 billable lots.

Community Manager Ray Sohl said the dues increase will help fund a two percent increase in operating expenditures, as well as helping the Association build its reserves for capital projects.

Treasurer Sandy Sackmann said the Finance Committee recommends seeking smaller dues increases each year, rather than a more substantial rate hike every few years.

The $25 increase represents a 2.4 percent increase for homeowners, a 3.6 percent increase on undeveloped lots, and a 4.8 percent increase for the owners of multiple lots.

Read more: SLLA Proposes $25 Dues Increase

U.S. Kids Golf announced that it has added Seven Lakes Country Club to its list of championship courses in the Pinehurst area to serve as a host club for the U.S. Kids Golf World Championship in 2015.

The 16th annual U.S. Kids Golf World Championship is scheduled for July 30-August 1, and this will be the 10th consecutive year that the Championship will be played in the area.

“Seven Lakes Country Club is very excited and proud to have been selected to be part of the 2015 U.S. Kids Golf World Championship. We look forward to hosting the 10-year-old girls division on our award- winning golf course next year,” stated Mike Floyd, General Manager for Seven Lakes Country Club. “Our highly acclaimed course is currently ranked for the 6th year in a row as one of the top 100 courses in North Carolina, and is consistently awarded 4 stars by Golf Digest.”

Read more: Seven Lakes Will Host US Kids Golf Tourney

In Memory Of

  • Jane Scales Facey

     of Foxfire Village died on Tuesday, April 19 after a long battle with Alzheimer’s. A private...

  • Nancy P. Neilson

    formerly of Seven Lakes, died on Monday,  April 18. Nancy and her husband, Roger, retired from...

  • John E. Letter

    95, of Seven Lakes, died Monday, March 21, at his home, surrounded by family and friends. A...

  • Marilyn Rose Kemble Bearden

     84, formerly of Seven Lakes, died on March 8 in Greenville, SC. The family will receive friends on...

  • Vonadora Baker Stackhouse

    96, died on Wednesday, March 2, her wedding anniversary, at her home in Seven Lakes West. Services were...

  • James R. Nichols

    (Jim) of Seven Lakes died at his home on Monday, February 22.  A Celebration of his life will be...

  • Timothy William Bouchelle

    49, of West End died on Friday, February 19, 2016 at his residence.  A visitation will be held from...

  • John P. Carpenter

    75, of Seven Lakes North died Saturday, February 13 at FirstHealth Hospice House in Pinehurst. A...

  • Michael Jerome Loney

    87 of Seven Lakes West died Tuesday, February 9 at First Health Moore Regional Hospital in...

  • Glenda Mae (Marks) Tucker

    64 of Seven Lakes passed on Sunday February 7 at Moses H. Cone Memorial Hospital in Greensboro.  A...

  • Dr. William Harrell Johnson

    92 years old, of Seven Lakes West, died on Tuesday, February 2, at home.  A memorial service was...