May 2014

A Word From Our Mayors

Author: Drew Laughlin & Lisa Sulka | Photographer: photography by Anne

Town News
Here are a few Town of Hilton Head Island projects that may interest you:

William Hilton Parkway/Leamington/Fresh Market Shoppes intersection improvement project
The intersection improvement project was undertaken in an effort to improve traffic safety in the corridor for approximately 40,000 motorists travelling on William Hilton Parkway (WHP) daily, enhance emergency response to adjacent properties, and improve pedestrian safety and connectivity of the town’s pathway network. Residents of the Leamington Community and patrons of the Fresh Market Shoppes and Hargray Campus will benefit directly by being able to make left turns more safely to and from WHP at a signalized intersection. Several accidents in the area have occurred over the years, many generating from the left turn movement from the Fresh Market Shoppes onto WHP.

The project included constructing a new signalized intersection at WHP and Leamington, and a new roadway segment on town property. The new road is a connector to a road between the Fresh Market Shoppes and Hargray Campus. The adjacent median openings on WHP at Fresh Market and Hargray were removed, and a new signalized crosswalk for bicyclists and pedestrians was created at the intersection.

Recent road pavings on Hilton Head Island
Six major roads on Hilton Head Island have been resurfaced (Mathews Drive, Beach City Road, Folly Field Road, Squire Pope Road, Deallyon Avenue, and a portion of Gum Tree Road). The roads are owned and maintained by the South Carolina Department of Transportation (SCDOT) and most had a two-foot paved shoulder added as a safety enhancement. The work was funded by the Town of Hilton Head Island, Beaufort County, and the State of South Carolina, thanks to a successful grant application to the SCDOT for a Federal Resurfacing Match Program. This is a 50 percent matching grant, and the town contributed $312,653.64 of hospitality tax funds to pave four of the roads. Beaufort County funded the matching grant for the other roads.

Port Royal Sound shoreline renourishment project
About 2,500 feet the Port Royal Sound shoreline, adjacent to Port Royal Plantation, will be renourished. Erosion has been claiming about 20 feet of beach per year, and the threat to the developed upland property is a concern. The placement of approximately 25,000 cubic yards of sand now will address these concerns until the 2016 large scale beach renourishment project. Sand will be trucked to the project site from approved upland sand mines located near Hardeeville, S.C. and Ridgeville, S.C. The construction cost of the project is $895,000, and work is to be completed before June 30, 2014.

Town Of Bluffton’s Strategic Planning Forms Yearly Playbook

It took two and half days, gallons of coffee, catered lunches and lots of sugary snacks to put all the Town of Bluffton’s senior staff, chairmen of the boards and commissions and Town Council around one table to wrestle and prioritize the issues for the next fiscal year.

Strategic planning is an arduous task; however, it has been accomplished five years in a row, and the finished project forms the playbook for the next year. At the end, each department, board and commission knows its priorities and goals for the following year and how each department will contribute to the collective accomplishments of the Town of Bluffton.

Strategic planning is like a football game. It’s Team Bluffton versus the overflowing inbox of projects, a limited amount of time and a finite pot of money. We have a referee, Lyle Sumek, a seasoned facilitator of municipal planning, who keeps our “eye on the ball,” and demands timelines for each completed pass.
Each project and program is divided into five main goals: 1) develop a regional economic center with a diverse economy; 2) celebrate the May River; 3) cultivate a livable, sustainable Bluffton community; 4) maintain excellent government services and responsible finances; and 5) upgrade the town’s infrastructure and facilities. Everything we do must further one of these goals.

The many projects we will be working on for FY 2014-2015 include: attracting new businesses to Bluffton via the Don Ryan Center for Innovation and the Bluffton Public Development Corporation; implementing Bluffton’s new brand; developing a website devoted to economic development; developing a plan to stabilize the Garvin House; completing the next phase of Streetscape and the town s sewer project; implementing additional public safety measures such as cameras; promoting other sources of revenues such as the Local Options Sales Tax (LOST) referendum; forming a Citizen’s Academy; completing the Calhoun Street study; continuing projects to protect the May River; and many, many more.

Meanwhile, Sumek reminds us that, as a town, we don’t do a great job of celebrating our successes. I want to let you know that FY 2013-2014 produced 17 cost-saving actions, including implementation of online permitting and streamlining town services. The town also added 20 services, including the Bluffton Police Department’s mentoring program. While town staff keeps adding services, none were taken away. Our town staff is doing more with less and is always mindful to provide added-value.

As a council, we all share a great love for this town, and we are proud to serve you, our residents, business owners and visitors. Thank you for being our partners through another productive year of effective services, projects and programs. If you would like a copy of the town’s completed strategic plan for FY 2014-2015, please call our public information department at (843) 706-4500.

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