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Foley retires at Lake commisioners meeting

Revised on: 07.20.2018 at 10:46 a.m.

Posted on: 07.16.2018 at 11:00 a.m.

By Jefferson Weaver

Harry Foley retired again Tuesday, this time for good.

The Lake Waccamaw Town Manager was honored by the commissioners during his last meeting as the chief executive for the town, a post he has held since 2015.

In his typical modest manner, Foley said that “anything good I have done here has been because of the staff.

“The people who work for the town are the best,” Foley said.

Foley went to work for the town after retiring from Southeastern Community College. Mayor Daniel Hilburn said Foley “hit the ground running,” inheriting a water project, ongoing improvements to the wastewater treatment plant, and the fight between the town and the Lake Waccamaw Fire and Rescue Auxiliary that eventually led to the department being closed.

Foley also spearheaded improvements that solved a severe flooding problem on Robeson Avenue. He played a key role in rebuilding the fire department and Station 9’s eventual improvement to a Class 4 fire rating, which saved thousands of dollars in insurance costs for property owners.

He also worked to obtain a total of more than $4 million in grants and low-interest loans for improvements to the town’s infrastructure.

Foley’s voice cracked slightly as he was presented a framed copy of the resolution honoring his service to the town.

“I’m not going to say too much,” he said, “because I don’t want to start crying. I just want to say thank you, to everyone. The people in this town are very special, and the people you have working for you in town hall and the other departments are the best.”

As has been an annual tradition, Foley gave the commissioners a breakdown of the budget for the fiscal year that ended June 30. He credited Town Clerk Valerie Register for “doing most of the work.”

Overall, Foley said, the town spent roughly $220,757 less than anticipated last year, a figure that would have topped $300,000 if state allocations had come through before the end of the year.

The town staff’s careful maintenance of equipment played a big role in the savings, Foley said.

“Our people take care of their tools and machines,” he said.

In his usual cautionary manner, Foley said that the town’s auditors “would take away some of that” through depreciation of some projects.

“Overall,” he said, “I think the town looks pretty good financially.”

Foley exchanged more hugs and handshakes with wellwishers after the meeting, and smiled as he showed residents a leave form for his last few days of vacation prior to leaving work.

“After that, I’m out of here,” Foley said, laughing. “It’s for real this time.”

Foley said he looks forward to spending more time with his family, and will continue to be active with several of his volunteer activities.

“I’ll still be working hard behind the scenes for Lake Waccamaw,” he said. “There’s still a lot I want to see done for the citizens of our town.”

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