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Black Mountain receives grant to repair portion of Swannanoa River

Ty Roush
Black Mountain News
Black Mountain Veteran's Park

BLACK MOUNTAIN - Black Mountain has received a  $74,000 grant from the North Carolina Division of Water Resources, according to a Sept. 28 email. Funds will be used for restoration work on the Swannanoa River at Veteran’s Park.

Jessica Trotman, the town’s planning director, said that repair is needed to “improve banks that have had significant erosion and improve flow where we have large cobble deposits.”

The grant will provide assistance to restore approximately 2,000 feet of degraded stream and two acres of riparian buffer.

Though other portions of town property had been damaged by flooding, Trotman said that the damage to the river has no connection to any recent events, “though some floods have made significant impacts to the overall health of the banks.”

This follows a recent decision by the Board of Aldermen to approve repairs to both a bridge at Black Mountain Golf Club and Lake Tomahawk. Both areas were damaged by flooding.

The town will use natural materials, including stone, wood and a native riparian plant species to help address channel instability. In spots where banks are experiencing extended erosion, “bank grading will lessen steep slopes” for the town to establish riparian shrubs and “their stabilizing root masses.”

Four separate areas planned for repair at the Black Mountain Veterans Park. A staging area is indicated by a red square in the bottom-right corner.

A riparian buffer is located near forested streams to help shape and protect the stream from the impact of land use by the water. Ideally, the buffer would increase water quality.

In this process, the town will stabilize spots of erosion on banks and at the river bed while directing flow of water to the center of the channel.

At the golf course, a bridge by hole No. 12 was damaged by flooding in early August. Repairs were estimated at $28,000.

Additional flooding in 2018 damaged the north end of Lake Tomahawk where Tomahawk Creek enters the lake. With the flooding damage, the town said a pedestrian bridge was also damaged and requires repair.

An initial repair estimate of $72,000 was extended to $122,000 to develop a new retaining wall to the north of the lake after the town dredges sediment by damaged areas.

The DWR is a state office that ensures “safe drinking water in accordance with federal requirements, issues pollution control permits” while evaluating environmental water quantity and quality. 

Black Mountain received its grant via the Water Resources Development Grant Program, which is used to “provide cost-share grants and technical assistance to local governments throughout the state,” according to the division’s website.