The Lake Paul Wallace Authority and all of Marlboro County received an early Christmas present on Tuesday.
State Senator Gerald Malloy presented Lake Paul Wallace Authority Chairman Sully Blair with a check for $250,000 from the state of South Carolina at the weekly meeting of the Bennettsville Rotary Club.
"I'm very proud of the Lake Wallace Authority and all they have been doing to preserve and beautify the lake," said Malloy, whose District 29 encompasses most of Marlboro County.
The money comes from the current state budget in a line item proposed by Malloy and supported by the rest of the Marlboro County delegation, Senator Kent Williams, Representative Pat Henegan and Representative Jackie Hayes.
Blair thanked Malloy for his assistance and support for the Lake Authority. He pointed out that Malloy was instrumental in the establishment of the Lake Paul Wallace Authority.
"Lake Paul Wallace is one of the greatest assets that our community has. This money will allow us to continue our efforts to restore the lake amenities and make it even more of an attraction," said Blair.
During the meeting, Blair and LPWA secretary Brittany Jones recounted some of the accomplishments of the organization since it was first established in 2012.
The parking area off Jefferson Street has been enlarged and repaved and safety barriers have been added on streets crossing the lake. Picnic areas and shelters have been added to make the lake more useful to visitors.
Currently, work is underway on improving and repairing the walking trail, both across the divergence dam and through the wooded area on the eastern side of the lake. Much of the work is being accomplished through a $75,000 grant administered through the South Carolina Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism.
"The lake brings people together," said Jones. "It also brings partnerships together."
She described how the Lake Authority partnered with Marlboro County, the City of Bennettsville and the Kinney Foundation to provide lifeguards at the swimming area last summer. She also said that a partnership with McLeod Health provided a life jacket station near the swimming area.
Blair announced the latest improvement to the lake. Repaving work on the road to Jack's Island will begin this week.