Counties and Organizations
Smith Mountain Lake is surrounded by Bedford County to the East, Franklin County to the West and to a smaller extent Pittsylvania County to the South, which also encompasses Leesville Lake.
The three counties have formed an advisory board that also maintains the navigational markers and is a good source for information about the lake or problems with the lake. It is now called the Tri County Lake Administrative Commission (it was formerly called the Smith Mountain Lake Policy Advisory Board). They can be reached at (540)721-4400.
American Electric Power (AEP) owns the lake itself and controls the land up to what is known as the 803' contour line (a full lake is considered to be 795 feet so the 803' line is eight vertical feet above that).
Each of the counties have slightly different laws that affect property ownership here at the Lake, and it is sometimes very important to consider that when making a buying decision. For instance, Franklin County has a law on the books that prohibits residences from being leased for a period of less than thirty days, so if you are considering buying a place to rent as a weekly vacation rental part of the year and use yourself part of the year, Bedford County or Pittsylvania County may be where to start your search.
(Note! Quirky things like this are why you need to use a Realtor! E-Mail me at info@SMLHomes.com when you're ready to start the process.).
Several other organizations have an impact on life at the Lake including The Smith Mountain Lake Association. We have a very active Smith Mountain Lake Chamber of Commerce.
Utilities Serving Smith Mountain Lake
Note: Many of the utility areas are not "neatly" divided and sometimes either side of a street are served by two different phone companies or power companies. The utility people are very good about directing you to the right company if they do not service your area.
Most electric is provided by Appalachian Electric Power, also known as AEP. They can be reached at 1-800-956-4237.
There is a small section of Bedford County served by Southside Electric Cooperative. Their number is 1-800-552-2118.
A small section of Pittsylvania County is served by Dominion Power, formerly Virginia Power Company. They can be reached at 888-667-3000.
Lake communities are within the 540 area code.
For those of you from out of the area, ten digit dialing has not reached here yet. Readjusting to seven digit dialing is a pleasure!
Bedford County (and a small portion of Franklin County) is handled by Verizon(formerly Bell Atlantic). They can be reached at 540-954-6290.
Franklin County is serviced by Century Link (formerly Embarq which was formerly Sprint which was formerly Centel). Their number is 1-888-723-8010.
Fairpoint services Pittsylvania County and they can be reached at 434-656-2291.
Cellular Service, Cable, Satellite, Broadband
Cellular service is improving rapidly at the lake. Most of the major companies have stores or representatives in the area (if not at the lake, then in Rocky Mount and/or Bedford City).
Shentel services Franklin County with cable and cable Internet service. Their number is (540) 483-5011.
Service is a little trickier in Bedford County. Comcast Cable is beginning to service some areas. Verizon offers some DSL. B2XOnline offers high speed Internet if they can get a clear line of site to one of their towers. They can be reached at (540) 389-7924.
Also available in both counties are DISH and DirecTV television satellite services and HughesNet and WildBlue satellite Internet services.
Each county provides dumpster areas for you to bring your household waste and recycling. Ask your Realtor to show you the nearest one to your property.
We do have some private trash services that offer once a week pick up. Gary Spencer's Trash Service can be reached at (540)297-7295.
Water, Septic & Sewer
Most properties here have their own well water and their own septic system. The standard Purchase Contract does require the Seller to provide the Purchaser with documentation from the appropriate authorities that the water is potable and that the septic system is not visibly leaking.
If you need additional information on septic systems, here is a very informative web site from Inspectapedia.
Franklin County requires homes within 500 feet of the lake to have their septic tanks pumped every five years.
Some communities have made private agreements for community water and/or sewage removal or treatment.
There are also an increasing number of homes that are serviced with public water from the Bedford County Public Service Authority. Their number is (540) 586-7679.
Vehicles and Voter Registration
Your cars and your driver's license will need to be updated with your new address with the state and with the county. If you are already living in Virginia, the state can be notified online at http://www.dmv.state.va.us.
Each county has its own DMV office where you can apply for new licenses and registration if you are from out of state and you can also register to vote.
In Franklin County, DMV is at 305 Tanyard Road in Rocky Mount. Their number is 540-483-9543. The Franklin County Courthouse Building is at 40 East Court Street in Rocky Mount. It houses the Treasurer's Office where you get your car decals. Their number is 540-484-1109.
In Bedford County, DMV is at 1629 Forest Road in Bedford. Their number is 540-586-7979. The Bedford County Administration offices are at 122 East Main Street in Bedford. The Treasurer can be reached at 540-586-7670.
In Pittsylvania County, the number for DMV is 804-791-5259. The County Treasurer can be reached at 804-432-7966.
The lake is served by a growing medical community including doctors, dentists, an urgent care facility and a retirment community that includes a long term care nursing facilty.
If you need minor care while you are visiting here, Velocity Care Urgent Care by Carillion Clinic is located in Westlake (540)719-1815
There are community hospitals in both Rocky Mount and Bedford City, the county seats of Franklin and Bedford Counties, each about fifteen or twenty minutes away from the lake.
Both Roanoke and Lynchburg have larger hospital facilities run by Lewis Gale, Centra Health and Carillion. Carillion has opened a medical school in Roanoke.
There is a level one trauma center in Charlottesville at the University of Virginia.
Should you be contemplating a move to the lake and are searching for your health insurance options and need a zip code to enter, 24121 for Moneta will get you a good ball park figure.
If you need to register your children in schools, here are the main county school numbers.
Franklin County 540-483-5138
Bedford County 540-586-1045
Pittsylvania County 804-656-6248
Our local weekly is The Smith Mountain Eagle. One of the things I suggest to people who are considering moving here is to get a mail subscription to the Eagle. It will keep you in touch with the lake and the real estate values before you get here.
At the county level, there is The Bedford Bulletin and The Franklin News Post.
For a daily paper, most residents read The Roanoke Times.
Channel 7 is the local CBS affiliate. It is headquartered in Roanoke.
Channel 10 is the local NBC affiliate. It is headquartered in Roanoke.
Channel 13 is the local ABC affiliate. It is headquartered in Lynchburg.
Channel 27 is the local FOX affiliate.
Channel 15 is Blue Ridge Public Television.
Smith Mountain Lake now has its own radio station WSLK!
If there are any other numbers you need, please e-mail me at info@SMLHomes.com so that I can get you the information and update this page of my web site.