Some Interesting Facts About the LBCA and the LBCAF
The first recorded meeting in the minutes of the Lake Burton Civic Association (LBCA) was for a meeting of the LBCA on December 22, 1968. Then, on January 18, 1969, there was a meeting of the LBCA board of directors at which the board discussed a hearing on an injunction against the collection of 1968 taxes by Rabun County to be held on January 23, 1969. At that meeting the board changed the name of the association to the Tallulah River Civic Association (TRCA) to bring in members from Lake Rabun and Seed Lake and voted to pay for the cost of incorporation.
The original requirement for membership in the TRCA was the ownership of a cabin on Lake Burton, Lake Rabun or Seed Lake and the payment of a $25 fee - part of which was applied to the first year dues.
The name was changed back to the Lake Burton Civic Association at a meeting of the TRCA board on September 1, 1974.
LBCA became a 501(c)4 not-for-profit civic association in 2000.
The LBCA currently has approximately 1,000 memberships out of approximately 1,500 residences and properties in the Lake Burton area. These memberships represent about 2,000 individuals who have an important voice in Rabun County.
The LBCA is a not-for-profit civic association and not a home owners association. As such, it has a responsibility to be a good citizen in the greater Rabun County community.
The Lake Burton Civic Association Foundation (LBCAF) was formed in 2000 as a 501(c)3 charitable foundation. Contributions through LBCAF and a portion of member dues to the LBCA are deductible on income tax returns as charitable contributions.
During the last 15 years, LBCA and LBCAF have contributed over $550,000, through dues and contributions to the LBCA Tour of Homes and the Annual LBCA Golf Tournament, to support the three volunteer fire departments around Lake Burton. This has assisted with the purchase of necessary equipment, supplemental insurance and other needs not funded by Rabun County.
Contributions of over $115,000 to the LBCAF have enabled the LBCA to purchase fire and rescue boat “Burton One” on Lake Burton and to help build the boathouse in Murray Cove to house it and the Georgia Department of Natural Resources (DNR) ranger Boat. “Burton One” and the volunteers who man it have been instrumental numerous times in helping contain fires and perform rescues.
The LBCA was instrumental in establishing the Wildcat volunteer fire station on Highway 197 to serve the nearby section of the lake.
The LBCA has researched, funded and paid more than $82,000 for the installation of dry hydrants and standpipes in strategic locations around the lake. These water sources are necessary to supply fire department tank and pumper trucks. This program continues to fund maintenance and additional installations.
The LBCA worked closely with the West Rabun Property Owners Association (WRPO), the Rabun County Fire Committee, the volunteer fire departments and other organizations to achieve an improved fire insurance rating. Funding assistance from the LBCA helped with fire station improvements that lowered insurance ISO ratings around the lake and elsewhere in the county. This resulted in a reduction of annual insurance premiums by several hundred dollars.
The LBCA worked closely with the county and the WRPO to encourage and facilitate the construction of the recycle center on Laurel Lodge Road.
The LBCA has worked closely with the county and WRPO to get the county to pave and improve roads around the lake.
The LBCA has worked to protect Lake Burton through water testing. This was started by Mason Whitney in the late 1970’s. He regularly took water samples from various locations around the lake and sent them to a lab for testing.
The LBCA is currently working with and furnishing funds to the Tallulah River Watershed Council (TRWC) to implement testing throughout the watershed. This supplements the testing currently being conducted by Georgia Power Company on the north Georgia lakes.
The LBCA is conducting periodic environmental seminars on best ecology practices to provide information to assist lake residents keep Lake Burton pristine.
The LBCA has for many years encouraged voter registration in Rabun County. In Georgia, voting residence does not have to be at the same location as IRS residence or the county in which one claims homestead exemption for property tax purposes.
The LBCA and the LBCAF have made donations to various Rabun County charitable organizations of over $110,000.
The LBCA maintains liaison with Georgia Power Company Land Office personnel for the benefit of its membership.
The LBCA and Georgia Power Company sponsor an annual Lake Burton Cleanup Day. After the tornado in 2011, many LBCA members made a significant contribution by assisting in cleaning up large debris around the lake.
The LBCA worked closely with Georgia Power Company to allow leases to be placed in the name of a family entity to accommodate the many extended families on the lake.
The LBCA , Georgia Power Company and the Georgia DNR sponsor an annual boating safety course to promote lake safety.
The LBCA provides reminders to the public about Georgia boating safety laws.
The LBCA provides necessary funds for off-duty deputy sheriffs to ride with rangers in DNR boats on Lake Burton on weekends between Memorial Day and Labor Day. This is very beneficial for the safety of all who use the lake. These law officers will also perform complementary safety and equipment checks for your boats and personal watercraft (jet skis).
The LBCA has furnished funds for the purchase of life vests, a sun top and new seats for the DNR ranger boat used on Lake Burton.
LBCA members may order 911 address signs and “No Wake Within 100 Feet” signs for boathouses. The 911 signs provide the 911 address on the lake side of homes to assist emergency responders coming by boat.
In 2012, in cooperation with the Rabun County Sheriff’s Office, the LBCA purchased 500 “Vials of Life” to give to members and other families in the county. These “Vials of Life” are kept in a family’s refrigerator and contain important emergency contact and medical information to assist emergency responders.
The LBCA website (www.lbca.net) provides useful information about the association and foundation - including officer, director and committee contact information, financial statements, minutes of meetings, newsletters and other information about the lake.
The LBCA publishes an annual Membership Directory and periodic newsletters. Newsletters are mailed to members who request a printed copy. Names listed in the Membership Directory with no contact information are not current LBCA members. These names are included so friends and neighbors can encourage them to join the LBCA.
The LBCA assisted the efforts of member Scot Roberge in persuading a local Internet service provider to bring the first broadband services to Lake Burton. Those efforts continue as fiber optic cable installation began in 2018.
The LBCA continues to provide important information about current issues around the lake - including new real estate developments, zoning and building code matters, high voltage transmission lines, etc.
In the past, the LBCA sponsored an art show in connection with the annual members meeting and served cocktails donated by member Cynthia Whitney.
The concerns addressed by TRCA in the early 1970’s were much the same as today. They included roads, road signage, garbage disposal, security, fire protection, election of county commissioners and purchasing equipment for the volunteer fire departments. TRCA spent several years putting up road signs at road intersections around the lake. In 1970-1972, TRCA worked with Georgia Power Company on the placement of garbage dumpsters in several locations around the lake (which preceded the recycle centers of today). In 1974-1975, TRCA provided a boat, water pumps and other equipment to Mountain Patrol for use on the lake. For several years, TRCA offered a standing reward of $1,500 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of anyone breaking and entering the lake residence of a TRCA member.
In 1982, Mason Whitney reported to the board that he could no longer assume responsibility for the Fourth of July Fireworks show - since several association members witnessed an intoxicated man jump from a boat and refuse to get back onboard. The board was concerned there could be a future accident for which the association might be held responsible. Member Hal Rhodes took over the sponsorship of the fireworks at that time and the organization he established continues to collect donations to fund this yearly event.