All of this Lake Wylie area growth is leading to the need for new schools, and the Clover School District is building a new middle school on Highway 557 and Oakridge Road. Another referendum will need to take place prior to building more schools. CSD also is planning to expand the high school, although Lake Wylie residents are looking forward to having a small high school built in the community to cut down on the 20-plus miles round trip. With road and fuel costs what they are today, having schools nearby becomes even more important to families than in the past and an issue for busing needs and fuel costs.
The Bethel/Lake Wylie all-volunteer fire department has been working to keep up with the growth in the area. Recently, they have received their ISO, which is an evaluation system that leads to determining a rating that impacts the fire protection insurance on property. The BVFD had a rating of 7 previously, and now it's a 5. (The smaller the number, the better the rating.) As a result of their efforts to improve the rating, beginning in the fall, businesses and residential property owners' insurance premiums should see a 15 to 17 percent reduction in premiums.
River Hills Country Club in River Hills, the first gated and environmentally sensitive -planned community in the Charlotte region, has undergone a $1.7 renovation during the past year. The club facility has been renovated and redecorated, and has added a fitness facility and expanded it beautiful outdoor terraces with new furnishings, umbrellas, plantings and added a water feature to the entrance. The golf course got a makeover, too. River Hills is the only gated golf course and marina community on Lake Wylie. "Come home to a resort ... every day" clearly describes the appeal to this beautiful neighborhood on the lake.
The Lake Wylie Chamber of Commerce also is taking steps to expand its space to add a Small Business Center with conference room. It has been working to secure grants and funding to be able meet the needs of our fast-growing community.
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Our mission is to create a center of excellence, providing an effective foundation for local economic development by making available affordable office space and support for small businesses and start-ups to stay in South Carolina.
We believe a Lake Wylie Small Business Center, to be located in Lake Wylie Business Centre with our office, can assist new and small businesses, and therefore, support the economy by providing:
• Technological support (high-speed Internet)
• Affordable office space
• Conference room
• Business support services
• Collaboration with Winthrop Small Business Center, Clemson Extension and York Tech College
• Utilize the school internship programs for small business
• Collaboration with SCORE and available mentors
The chamber and its president will be "the champion" for small businesses and start-ups by supporting them, referring them and connecting them in with the many resources available to help fledgling and small businesses in our area.
In the absence of a municipality in this rural area, the chamber can be the model in promoting economic development in our unique and progressive area.
Our proximity to Charlotte and an international airport contributes to high growth and interest in this area. Many people are relocating here and are eager to start new small businesses in this economy.
Lake Wylie is a prosperous area with many exceptional small businesses, and our focus will be to help to keep small businesses in South Carolina.