Jan 2013: Mayors
Author: Drew Laughlin and Lisa Sulka | Photographer: Photography by Anne
Our Acton Agenda Ahead
The Hilton Head Island Town Council recently spent three days planning our strategic future for the coming year and more ahead. Our workshop goal was to establish a plan to accomplish priorities you will find below. We do this to avoid the pitfalls associated with not having a plan, i.e. reacting from the idea of the day. Town Council, in a facilitated fashion, focuses on achievable items we believe reflect the expectations of residents, can be funded, and will add to or enhance residents’ quality of life. Here is our plan:
Town of Hilton Head Island: Destination 2028 Guiding Principles
-Living in harmony with nature, protecting the natural beauty, and creating a unique sense of place
-Sustaining community prosperity through a diversified, strong local economy based upon resort, retirement, and non-hospitality businesses
-Providing meaningful experiences that cherish our history, the arts, cultural diversity, and enrich the lives of our residents and guests
-Striving for excellence in everything we plan, build, do, and maintain
-Providing a serene, safe, and healthy living environment for residents, guests and visitors
-Working together and volunteering for the greater good of the Hilton Head Island community
Town of Hilton Head Island 2018: Our Goals
-Positive climate for business investment
-Town government: financially sound, excellent services
-Enrich lives of residents and guests
-Upgraded public infrastructure and facilities
-Preeminence for environmental stewardship
Policy Agenda 2013: Targets For Action
-Economic development organization: creation and operation
-Coligny area development projects: direction and funding
-Arts collaboration: framework and strategy for fostering collaboration among arts organizations
-Arts Center of Coastal Carolina: short-term financial direction
-Chaplin linear park and boardwalk: development and permitting
-Education strategy: identification of needs and direction
-Recreation Center expansion: direction on future phases
-Mainland transportation agreement: dirt road policy direction, flyover funding, and future Town acceptance of private roads direction and funding
-Solid waste contract: direction
• Commercial recycling: evaluation and direction
• Land acquisition program: policy direction, acquisitions, and funding
Management Agenda 2013
• Airport issues: resolution
• Reassessment and tax rate limitations: direction and public information
• Shelter Cove area public projects: construction
• Tax increment financing district: study extension
• Employee compensation and benefits: review and direction
• Posting of quarterly financial reports online: purpose, method, and funding
• Beach renourishment (2015): scoping, designing and permitting
• Old Welcome Center building: direction
So, that’s where we are headed. Let us know what you think. As always, we appreciate your support.
Making the Transition to Public Works
From lawn mowers and ladders to backhoes and dump trucks, the Town of Bluffton’s Buildings & Grounds division has transitioned from a group that mowed the grass and changed light bulbs to a cohesive team that can handle a wide array of public works activities such as ditch excavation, sidewalk repair, pathway grading, building maintenance, landscaping & irrigation, and much more.
Two years have passed since the move from its old space at DuBois Park to a modern facility at Oscar Frazier Park. This facility provides the space for equipment and materials needed by the crews to perform their work and includes office and break room space as well as a back-up generator to be used in emergencies. This facility is prepared for a disaster, and that’s good because these are the very people who will get the town back on its feet after an emergency!
Team members work every day on the many parks, buildings, and other facilities throughout the town’s 54 square mile footprint, and that’s a lot of ground to cover! You may see crews out working to maintain town projects like the May River Road Streetscape or DuBois Park. You may see them dressed in their safety vests with traffic control signs, providing safe passage for vehicles as they drive through a work zone. Safety is a top priority for our team, so if you see them showing the sign to slow or stop, please follow their directions. They are only trying to keep our residents, motorists, and crew members safe.
Of course, there are times when you won’t see our crew by the side of the road. Don’t worry—they’re keeping busy! They may be back in the woods with a mini-excavator maintaining miles of ditches. They could be working on the stormwater treatment units installed to protect our rivers at different project sites. They could be grading a pathway or a parking lot at the New River Trail or Oyster Factory Park. They could even be handling special projects such as removal and replacement of broken concrete sidewalk or performing emergency demolition or debris removal to abate a potentially unsafe condition.
If the crew isn’t outside, you might find them inside one of our town buildings. You see, deferring maintenance is the wrong approach to preserving the taxpayers’ investments. It’s better to consistently maintain facilities instead of letting them fall into disrepair and paying a big bill later. Luckily, team members have experience performing the maintenance tasks needed on buildings old and new.
As you can see, our small buildings & grounds crew has grown into a full-fledged public works division with the skilled people and proper equipment needed to operate and maintain the infrastructure and facilities that serve all Bluffton residents. When you pass by our crews in their safety vests by the side of the road, give them a wave, and I bet you will receive a wave and a smile in return.