Forum to focus on Lake Junaluska’s future as a town or not

As Lake Junaluska weighs whether to become part of the town of Waynesville or form its own town, a public forum for residents to ask questions or share comments will be held at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, April 26, at Bethea Welcome Center.

At stake is Lake Junaluska’s identity and the fate of a community made up of 800 homes. A task force has been formed to study the issue. The mission of the task force includes gathering public opinion, reporting findings to the Junaluska Assembly Community Council and possibly making recommendations.

The taskforce will be made up of three representatives from the community council, three from the Lake Junaluska Assembly Property Owners Organization, three members from the community and one member representing the United Methodist Church.

While Lake Junaluska is not an official town, the community already looks and acts like one. It has its own trash pick-up, water and sewer system, street maintenance and even security force. The homes that make up Lake Junaluska’s residential community pay a yearly fee for those services.

But, an aging water and sewer system and other infrastructure issues have led the community to consider joining Waynesville instead of bearing the expense alone. If the community joins Waynesville, it would see an increase to its property-tax base but would also incur the Lake’s aging infrastructure.

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