The Edisto Beach Property Owners Association
Working together to keep Edisto Beach the low-key family beach we love.
Note: some older items are left
on site for reference... newest
information is always first.
Your Legislative Contacts
From time to time we ask you to contact your legislators on issues of concern. The State of SC has worked to make it easier to identify the people who represent you and to find out how to contact them.
These links, which you may want to save to your "favorites" will allow you to stay in touch with your legislators.
First, this link will help you find your legislators by simply entering your address... it also includes your Congressional delegation http://www.scstatehouse.gov/legislatorssearch.php
For many of us old timers who remember the SC Legislative Manuel, it still exists and you can view
it on line at http://www.scstatehouse.gov/man14/manual14.php It has a wealth of information.
The SC Legislative Website itself can be pretty helpful with many of these functions available from the home page. You might want to start here and simply wander around a bit:
If you want to contact your legislator use "contact legislator" form on the right hand side in the middle. If you care to create a password you can find and track legislation on line.
Minutes Council Meeting of 7-13-16
The following are key items of interest from the two sessions:
1.) Bill Taylor of the Municipal Association of South Carolina announced that the Town has won the annual achievement award in the 0-1000 population class for the outstanding work the Town has done to improve the usability as well as the safety of our sidewalks and bike lanes. A video was played which highlighted the effort. Our own Mickey VanMetre acted as the Town's spokesman in the video. The Town will retain the trophy presented by Mr. Taylor for one year.
2.) The Burley L. Lyons Park was renamed the Burley L. Lyons Memorial Park in honor of the late mayor. A marker, donated by Mark Steedley, will be erected in Burley's honor.
3.) The Mayor announced that the Town is moving forward with tentative plans to finance a new $7.2M water system with General Obligation bonds.
An approval referendum will be scheduled April 4,2017. A final decision on the bonding approach (General Obligation Bonds vs. Revenue Bonds) will be made over the next month. Note that there has been considerable public discussion on which approach is more appropriate. The majority seem to favor Revenue bonds which are funded with additional water rate increases. General Obligation bonds are funded with property tax increases. The additional operating and maintenance costs associated with the new system will be funded with water rate increases regardless of the bonding method selected to finance the $7.2M capital cost.
4.) The problem with stray and lost pets in the Town and Island has been investigated by Council Member Smyer. It has been agreed that the Town cannot afford to assume the financial obligations with a "kennel" type facility. Other alternatives are being researched.
5.) Council approved First Reading of Ordinance No. 2016-18 to expand the permitted outdoor entertainment to include Thursday, Sunday and National Holidays subject to certain limitations as described in the ordinance. The full text is available at Town Hall and will be included in the Town's minutes which will be available after their approval at the September meeting.
6.) Approved the repair or replacement of the water system well at a cost of $800K to $1.2M. This should be considered a par of the upcoming new water system.
7.) Approved the repair of well No. 5 pump at a cost of $11,000.
The approved version of the minutes from the July Town Council meetings is attached for your information.
Please advise if you have questions or concerns.
Thank you for your support.
Attached is a copy of the agenda for the subject meeting. There were several items of note for us:
1.) Water System Upgrade Referendum
The Town Administrator, Iris Hill, announced that Town Council has tentatively set April 4, 2017, for an approval referendum on whether to go forward with the $7.2M water system upgrade which was recommended by the Water & Sewer Committee. This would also be approval for Town Council's current plans to utilize general obligation bonds to finance the upgrades. The Town Council believes that the "general obligation bond" approach will have more favorable rates that the "revenue bond" approach and the cost to the property owner will be tax deductible. Reference the next item for more discussion on general obligation bonds versus revenue bonds.
2.) General Obligation Bonds versus Revenue Bonds
General obligation bond repayment of principal and interest is paid through property tax increases. Because it is based on the funding from property tax increases, (versus the funding from water rate revenues with revenue bonds) the interest rates are expected to be more favorable. Also, the cost will be tax deductible for the property owner's portion. Finally, the available borrowing capacity of revenue bonds is preserved.
Revenue bond repayment of principal and interest is through water rate increases. The amount paid by a property owner is based on how much water they use.
Unlike general obligation bonds, revenue bond repayment fees are independent of the owner's property tax assessment. Finally, the "revenue bond" approach will encourage water conservation because how much they use will be the only determining factor in how much they pay.
3.) Proposed Ordinance on a Temporary Moratorium on Issuing & Approving Water Irrigation Taps & Meters
The Town is considering an ordinance that will establish a temporary moratorium on the issuance and approval of new irrigation taps and meters until further notice. This is due to water supply and equipment over use concerns and in order for the Town to study the issues. Separate taps and meters for those on the Town's sewer provides a way for the property owners to avoid sewage charges for the irrigation water utilized.
Bob Doub was asked how many of these taps and meters have been approved in the last year. Mr. Doub indicated there were maybe 3 or 4. Based on this, the Committee did not feel this is a justified step for the Town based on past use of this option.
The Committee voted unanimously to recommend that the Town not proceed with this ordinance.
3 IMPORTANT THINGS TO REMEMBER
Pets on Edisto Beach
When visiting or living on Edisto Beach, please be responsible and make sure your pet is wearing a collar
with up to date contact information. This will ensure you are contacted immediately, if your pet gets loose and is found.
Rules from DNR on crabbing:
Sea Turtle Season Is Here
The effort to protect our whales, dolphins and other marine wildlife continues...
June 6, 2016 Work Session & June 9, 2016 Formal Session
The following significant items of interest were noted:
1. General Obligation Bond Presentation from Howell, Linkous and Nettles – At Council’s request Mr. Howell presented information on the option of utilizing General Obligation Bonds for funding future water projects. Mr. Howell began by noting that there are two types of bonds the Town can consider:
· General Obligation Bonds which are payable from property taxes. A property tax increase will be necessary to service these bonds.
· Utility Revenue Bonds which are payable from the revenue derived from the operation of the utility system after the expenses of the utility system are paid. Water rates will have to be increased to service these bonds.
General Obligation Bonds, according to Mr. Howell, have on a given day a lower interest rate than revenue bonds. The Town’s General Obligation bonds have a higher bond rating than revenue bonds. Also, the voters need to be aware that the increase in property tax can be written off on State and Federal income tax returns. Note that a referendum is mandatory for the voter to approve or reject the property tax increase. A referendum on revenue bonds is optional.
One counter point that we would point out is that the revenue bond approach would charge the water user according to how much water they use. With the General Obligation Bond approach the water user will pay the same regardless of how much water is used.
A water rate study is underway on the impact of servicing the debt associated with financing the capital cost of $7.2M for the water system upgrade.
In summary, it was clear from the discussions that Council is intent on getting all the information it can before the Town decides on any future project.
This is encouraging and we should offer our support. We will keep you advised.
2. Noise Ordinance Variance Request – Pressley’s at the Marina and the Edisto Marina – Town Council reviewed a variance request that would allow live or recorded music to be played on Wednesday and Thursday nights until 9:30 PM and on Sunday until 9:00 PM. This would be in addition to the current allowable times on Friday and Saturday evenings.
Concern was expressed that there are other music venues that may well want to expand their hours too. Based on this, Council delayed their vote and
requested that the Planning Commission review the current ordinance from a fairness and balanced standpoint for all music venues.
3. Request to Allow Utilization of the Civic Center by the Friends of Jane Edward for their 6-9-16 & 6-30-16 Meetings – Town Council unanimously approved the request. The effort to save the Jane Edwards School currently is an island wide effort that Town Council supports.
4. Special Event Application & Sponsorship/July 4th Patriotic Celebration – Council unanimously approved as well as expressed support as a sponsor for
the celebration. (Refer to the attached flyer for times, events and the new parade location)
5. Special Council Meeting – This meeting is scheduled for June 27, 2016 in Council chambers at 10 AM. Purpose is to consider approval of the 2016/2017 budget.
After the Town’s official minutes are approved, they will be posted online on the Town’s website.
If you have questions, please advise.
Thanks you for your support.
Please be advised that on beginning on Monday June 20 through Saturday June 25, Traffic Control Safety Services will be conducting various lane closures at the Sand, Russell, and Store Creek bridges on SC-174. Please plan accordingly and expect possible delays.
Your patience and cooperation is appreciated.
Town of Edisto Beach
2414 Murray Street
Edisto Beach, SC 29438
From Town Administrator Iris Hill
Coastal Science and Engineering will hold a public meeting at Town Hall on September 30 at 1:00 p.m. to discuss the beach nourishment project with property owners. After the meeting, CSE will go block to block to meet with folks on the beach and discuss the logistics of the project. We will send a notification to all property owners and also post in newspapers, newsletters, watering holes, etc. For those folks who still have questions and cannot attend, we will work with them individually. We are still on schedule for the project to start late fall or early 2017. The Hunting Island permit will determine the start date. Low tide on September 30 is at 2:00 p.m.
Friday, June 10, 2016
Town of Edisto Beach Town Council Work and Formal Meetings, May 9 and 12
1.0 Helicopter Medical Emergency Services – The AirMed Care Network has offered their service options to the Town. Town Council has elected to include $5000 in the Town’s 2016-2017 budget (actual AirMed quoted cost is $2,465) for providing coverage for Town residents including property owners who are here only on a part-time basis. Please note the 2016-2017 budget is subject to Town Council approval. AirMed coverage will apply to all of the above who are here at the time of the emergency. AirMed would provide service to MUSC or Roper hospitals. However, if trauma is involved the patient will go to MUSC because it is the only trauma center in the area. Note, however, the Town’s coverage will just be limited to the nearby facilities. It does not include more remote, out-of-state facilities such as the August Burn Center.
An AirMed representative, Wes McAden, was present to answer questions. He also pointed out that broader coverage is available through their membership options (for example, one year additional coverage membership cost is $65 which covers the entire household). Again, this is subject to Town Council’s approval of the 2016-2017 budget. This additional membership expands the coverage to 220 locations across 32 states. Mr. McAden pointed out that the AirMed Care Network members with Med-TransAir Medical Transport, AirEvac Lifetime, EagleMed and ReachAir Medical Services.
If you want more information and/or you have questions for Mr. McAden, please feel free to contact him directly @ (843)708-6192 or email him @ WES.MCADEN@AMGH.US.
2.0 Second Reading of Ordinance No. 2016-11 – The Ordinance passed unanimously, this increases the garbage rate for the first container. The current rate of $170.84 will increase to $196.62. The additional can rate of $58.80 was reduces slightly to $58.32. Note these fees are billed semiannually in advance at a rate of $98.31 for the first container and $29.16 for each additional container.
The rate increase was part of the contract negotiation with Republic.
3.0 Second Reading of Ordinance No. 2016-12 – The ordinance passed unanimously, this increases our water rates by approximately 5%. Rates also are been increased for tap-in or cut-in fees both inside and outside the Town limits. Please contact Town Hall if you need confirmation on a particular rate.
These increases are intended to provide needed funds to implement infrastructure improvements needed now to support our water system.
4.0 First Reading of Ordinance No. 2016-15 – Passed unanimously to adopt the FY2016-17 Budget totaling $6,145,797 with revenues equaling expenditures. The fiscal year 2016-2017 property tax levy will be 20.71 mills.
5.0 Award of RFP No. 2016-16 For Removal of Litter Highway 174 (McKinley Washington Bridge to the Town of Edisto Beach – Wright for U Services was low bidder at $238.50/per week and was awarded the contract for the period July 1, 2016 to June 30, 2017. Note that Charleston County has agreed to reimburse the Town for the costs.
6.0 The Marina at Edisto Beach and Edisto Marina Association request for $10,000 for support of the July 20-22 Billfish Tournament was approved. The Park fee was also waived because the Town is a sponsor.
7.0 Due to Town Council attending a different meeting, the July Town Council meetings has been changed to 7-11-16 for the Work Session and 7-13-16 for the Formal Session.
If you have questions, please advise. We will forward the Town’s approved minutes for the meeting when available after they are approved.
Thank you for your support.
Help protect our coastal waterways from Marine Debris - Have unwanted Fishing & Boating Gear? They want it!
Accepted items include: boat batteries, trailer tires, anchors, motors, crab traps
NO firearms, flares, explosives, gas, propane or commercial hazardous household waste
Drop off location on Edisto is the Edistonian/BP Gas Station
9:00 am to 4:00 pm
(There are 9 drop off locations around Charleston County.)
For more info: visit www.scseagrant.org/cleanmarine or contact EV Bell, SC Sea Grant Consortium Marine Education Specialist at EV.firstname.lastname@example.org
Click here for link 1
For the members that were unable to attend the annual meeting or those who did attend and would like to see the presentation again, the 2 attachments were discussed at the meeting by Lindy Cummins, Environmental Department Manager, Thomas & Hutton. Please advise if you have questions.
Click here for link 2
Please expect intermittent lane closures during the day on SC-174 next week. Lane closures will be at Store and Russell creeks to allow for temporary barrier rail to be placed.
Please allow for possible traffic delays during this time period.
Please contact our office at 803-536-1156 with any questions or concerns.
We appreciate your patience and cooperation.
Town of Edisto Beach
Received this communication today.
Today, Representative Mark Sanford announced that his district staff will be conducting April Satellite office hours on Edisto Island on Wednesday, April 20 beginning at 1 pm. at the Edisto Art and Craft Market on Dock Site Road (Bay Creek Park).
Representative Sanford's staff will be available to assist with any issues related to the federal government. This includes social security, veteran's affairs and etc. Additionally, anyone wishing to express an opinion or ask a question is welcome to stop by.
Notice of Lane Closures on SC 174
Lane closures on 174 will be during the bridge company's working hours which are 7-5:30 through the week. No weekend closures.
Informational Meeting SC 174 Bridge Replacements
The information meeting was arranged by the Edisto Island Community Assoc. to principally address concerns with the planned excavations for “a borrow pit” on a parcel next to Brookland Plantation which the bridge contractor has purchased for that purpose. The primary concern is that the excavations could disturb graves nearby dating from the 1700’s. The Edisto Island Community Assoc. invited the following organizations to attend:
Edisto Island Historic Preservation Society
Edisto Island National Scenic Byway
Edisto Beach Property Owners Assoc.
Town of Edisto Beach
The following representatives of the SCDOT and the bridge contractor conducted the question and answer exchange:
F. Keith Green, SCDOT Resident Construction Engineer, Colleton Bridge Construction
Richard M. Nickel, President, Carolina Bridge Company, Inc.
The following notable points of interest were made in response to questions from the attendees:
1.) On the potential for grave disturbances on the parcel next to Brookland Plantation purchased by the bridge contractor for a borrow pit, there is minimal potential for this according to Mr. Nickel because this particular parcel had previously been cleared. This is evident by the vegetation on the parcel which is primarily a young stand of pines. However, Mr. Nickel committed to carefully beginning and conducting their borrow pit construction with a strong focus on monitoring the excavation for any unexpected grave disturbances.
2.) On a question concerning their concurrent construction plans for the three bridges, Mr. Nickel confirmed that construction will be started in the same time frame on all three although the individual construction schedules for the three bridges will vary depending on the contractor’s sequences of their resources.
3.) When will the construction reach the stage where some disruption of normal flow of traffic is possible with lane closures and flagging operations? Traffic disturbances should be expected to start as early as this Fall. The contractor is committed to sending out advance notices to affected local entities. Mr. Nickel emphasized that the traffic disturbances will be limited as much as possible.
4.) Will the speed limit be reduced in the construction areas? How soon will these be posted? Any speed limit reductions as well as timing will necessarily have to be made by state law enforcement.
5.) When will these new bridges be completed and open to traffic? The contractor is starting construction this month with all construction scheduled to be completed in November, 2018.
Both Mr. Green and Mr. Nickel encouraged all of us to allow more travel time when we plan to use US Hwy. 174 beginning later this year.
One final comment. After the meeting, I asked Mr. Nickel why repair of the existing bridge structures was not seriously concerned. He stated that the existing bridges had been rated as being structurally deficient and therefore must be replaced. These bridges also qualify for Federal Bridge Replacement funding which certainly helped to get these replaced now. Additional advantages with the new bridges are that they will be considerably wider and able to accommodate bike and foot traffic. Also the bridges will be higher which will reduce the opportunity for flooding in the future.
Please advise if you have questions. Thank you for your support.
SCDOT Begins Bridge Replacement Project - Highway 174
We will attempt to pass along information as we get it. Scheduled completion 2018.
For more info Click Here
Today the South Atlantic Coast (Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina & Georgia) was
officially removed from the plan for off shore drilling.
The following are, in our judgment, the key issues of interest from these meetings:
Edisto Beach Town Council March Work Session (3-8-16)
& Formal Meeting (3-10-16)
1.) Second reading of ordinance Nol. 2016-04 was approved unanimously which provides for a) a procedure for customers to request a water meter test, b) a procedure for a customer to request the relocation of a water meter, c) establishment of a charge for after hours service, and d) a procedure for a customer to request water testing. The full text of the ordinance is attached. Page 1; Page 2
2.) First reading of Ordinance No. 2016-07 was approved unanimously which enacts Article III of Chapter 78 of the Code of Ordinances which provides the rules & regulations governing the operation of “golf carts” in the town.
We recommend you carefully review these if you and/or your family members will be operating a golf cart on the Town streets. The full text of the ordinance is attached. Page 1; Page 2; Page 3
3.) The following Special Events applications were unanimously approved:
a.) Edisto Island Ducks Unlimited March 12, 2016
b.) 6th Annual Edisto Eats Festival and Ultimate Chief Competition March 19, 2016
c.) King’s Daughters Bazaar May 7, 2016
4.) Unanimously deferred the proposed payment of the $2500 membership fee in the Coalition for Sustainable Flood Insurance Fundraising Effort.
Councilmember Kizer questioned the wisdom of this expenditure in the work session based on his research of the organization which he found showed little evidence of significant activity on the flood insurance issue. Additionally, he observed their website was grossly out of date.
At the formal session on Thursday evening, Councilmember Hornsby made the motion to defer this expenditure until more research is completed. Mayor Darby asked Councilmember Kizer to continue his investigation and keep Council advised.
5.) The following committee vacancies were filled by Town Council:
Janet Oakley was appointed to The Imagine and Design of Edisto (TIDE)
Laurie Sanders, Sr. was appointed to the Water & Sewer Committee
YOUR LATEST NEWSLETTER
The date for the Preliminary Floodplain Maps and Flood Insurance Public Hearing has been changed to
March 29th from 4 PM to 7 PM.
Edisto Beach Hires Lobbiest
Town Hires Lobbyist
The Town of Edisto Beach executed a letter of engagement to hire Beam and Associates to lobby for a portion of the Governor's $40,000,000 budget earmarked for beach nourishment and repair. The Town needs another $5,000,000 to fully fund the 2016 project. Beam and Associates will also be keeping Council apprised of all legislative impacts dealing with beachfront management and regulations dealing with beachfront related emergencies. This was a joint effort with Pawley's Island and the Town's cost is $21,000.
Posted by Iris Friday, January 29, 2016 9:23:00 AM
Beach renourishment news
Gov. Haley suggests spending $345 million for road repairs
Proposes spending $164.7 million for flood recovery, including more dam regulators and beach renourishment
Haley also wants to start phasing in her income tax cut plan
S.C. Gov. Nikki Haley set her priorities for spending $1 billion in added state tax revenue Friday, emphasizing more money for roads, her education plan and phasing in her income-tax cut proposal.
Haley’s budget outlines her priorities to S.C. lawmakers, who next month will begin writing the state budget that take effect July 1.
Haley proposed spending:
▪ $345 million for roads, including $231 million in one-time money and $49 million from a proposed 10-cent-a-gallon gas tax increase to be phased in over three years.
▪ $300 million for her education plan, including $165 million to increase the amount schools get based on their enrollment to $2,300 a student.
▪ $164.7 million for flood recovery, including the state’s match for flood-relief money from the Federal Emergency Management Agency and $49 million to pay the state’s share of road-repair costs for roads and bridges damaged by the flood. Haley also proposes spending another $40 million for beach renourishment and roughly $700,000 for seven new employees at the state Department of Health and Environmental Control to regulate dams.
▪ $131 million to phase in a 0.2 percentage point reduction to the state’s income tax. Last year, Haley unveiled her proposal to cut the state’s income tax by two percentage points over 10 years. That proposal would reduce the state’s highest tax rate, now 7 percent, to 5 percent. Haley tied the income-tax cut to her willingness to increase the gas tax.
▪ $113 million to pay local governments the amount state law says they should receive. The state pays counties and municipalities for state services that the local governments provide. Local governments have not received the amount that state law says they should get since the Great Recession. They argue that being shortchanged by the state forces them to raise taxes.
▪ $96 million to the state’s retirement systems to defer a 0.5 percent increase in pension costs that would be shared by state workers and their employers.
Read more here: http://www.thestate.com/news/local/article54870010.html#storylink=cpy
EBPOA Year-End Review Critical Carryover Iems for 2016
There are three critical issues we believe the Town is facing in 2016:
- Severe beach erosion particularly on the north end is intensifying the necessity for a near-term beach renourishment project in 2016.
- Town water quality and quantity concerns are major issues for the Town residents as well as many property owners who do not live on Edisto Beach.
- The planned Spring Grove development announced recently is expected to extend along US 17 from Ravenel to an area south of the intersection with SC 174 with commercial, industrial and residential areas on both sides of US 17. Spring Grove is projected to be fully developed over the next 20 to 50 years with an expected population of up to 20,000 residents. Note that the intersection of SC 174 and US 17 is only 10 miles from the McKinley Washington Bridge. Our Island and our Town must be well prepared for this. It undoubtedly will “spill over” to this special place we call Edisto.
The first two issues are internal to the Town of Edisto Beach and are the most urgent at this time. The need for a beach renourishment project is the highest priority of the two simply because many homes in the 100, 200, 300 and 400 block are seriously threatened by the severe erosion with several of them dangerously close to falling into the sea. Clearly water quality/quantity issues are a major concern for the majority of our residents/property owners and will need to be addressed. The obvious question then is why not do both.
The following hopefully will help answer that question. Currently the Town has $7M committed of the minimum of $12M needed for the 2016 beach renourishment with a resulting shortfall of $5M. The Town is aggressively going after all potential sources for the $5M with the SC State Legislature being the most promising.
On the water system upgrade needed to correct the water quality/quantity issues, the Town’s selected contractor team in a November presentation to the Town’s Water & Sewer Committee on the 2016 Water System Improvement options matrix recommended that only Options 5A& 5B out of a total of eight options would ensure the Town does not run out of water during the heaviest residential usage while at the same time fighting house fires. The Water & Sewer Committee concurred and voted unanimously to recommend Option 5, modified with a clear well which would add additional water storage capacity, to the Town Council. Town Council is expected to consider this in the January 12, 2016, Town Council meeting. The total capital investment required is estimated by the contractor team to be $7.2M plus any interest charges incurred with bonding costs. The additional annual operating & maintenance (O&M) cost for the system is estimated at $222,136 with a projected 30 year (expected life of plant) cost of $6,664,080. Therefore, the total financial commitment is $13,864,080 ($7,200,000 plus $6,664,080) not including any interest charges on the capital investment costs.
Bottom-line, to do both based on currently available renourishment funds, the initial cost would be a total of $12.2M ($5M renourishment and $7.2M water system upgrade) plus any interest charges and a total O&M cost of $6.664M for the expected 30 year plant life. Therefore, the total commitment is for $18,864M plus any interest charges. Securing the remaining $5M needed for renourishment would significantly lower the initial funding needed to go forward with both. Clearly, Town Council has some difficult calls to make.
The third item is the potential negative impact on our Island and our Town from the Spring Grove Development already approved by Charleston County. This development with a build-out population estimated at 20,000 people only 10 miles away from Edisto Island will undoubtedly have a significant “spill over” effect on Edisto. Based on this what should we collectively do (the Island and the Town)? Already several of the Island organizations including the EBPOA and the Town have moved forward to form a coalition to seek additional protection for the current density standards already in place. More information on this will be forthcoming in the near-term. Also it is important to note that well over half of the island is under some form of protection (land trust conservation easements on private property, State Park property, DNR property and other State and Federal property). The Spring Grove Development has intensified the efforts of area land trusts to secure additional conservation easements. The recent action in Congress which approved making the temporary tax break permanent on conservation easements will significantly enhance the land trusts’ ability to attract new property (please see http://www.postandcourier.com/article/20151227/PC1002/151229526 or the attached article).
We encourage everyone to familiarize yourselves with this development and get involved where you can. As indicated earlier more information is coming near-term.
From the EBPOA Board: Have a Happy and Healthy New Year and we hope to see you at the annual meeting on April 15, 2016 @ the Lions Club 4 PM.
Thank you for your continued support.
Subject: Bill H.4450
This bill prohibits property tax valuation increases on primary residences for residents over 70 and reduces valuations by 25% for those over 75. Further 50% reductions are provided for those over 80 and 75% reduction for those over 85. These percentages apply against the remaining tax (market) value after the previous reductions have applied.
I think we should publicize this bill and urge support for it with our legislators. This is a House bill and has 4 sponsors initially.
Further, I understand that Sen. Campsen will pre-file a bill appropriating the $5M we need for the renourishment project. I do not have a bill number as of yet, meaning that the bill has not been filed.
Session 121 (2015-2016)
H 4450 General Bill, By Huggins, Bingham, Quinn and Kennedy
A BILL TO AMEND SECTION 12-37-220, AS AMENDED, CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA,
1976, RELATING TO PROPERTY TAX EXEMPTIONS, SO AS TO PROVIDE AN EXEMPTION
SUFFICIENT TO KEEP THE PROPERTY TAX VALUE OF A HOMESTEAD FROM INCREASING ONCE
THE OWNER ATTAINS THE AGE OF SEVENTY YEARS, TO PROVIDE AN ADDITIONAL
TWENTY-FIVE PERCENT EXEMPTION WHEN A PERSON ATTAINS THE AGE OF SEVENTY-FIVE
YEARS AND TO INCREASE THE EXEMPTION BY AN ADDITIONAL TWENTY-FIVE PERCENT EVERY
FIVE YEARS THEREAFTER, AND TO SPECIFY THE APPLICABILITY OF THE EXEMPTION; AND
BY ADDING SECTION 12-45-82 SO AS TO PROHIBIT A TAX EXECUTION ON THE HOMESTEAD
OF AN INDIVIDUAL THAT HAS ATTAINED THE AGE OF EIGHTY YEARS.
12/03/15 House Prefiled
12/03/15 House Referred to Committee on Ways and Means
VERSIONS OF THIS BILL
TO AMEND SECTION 12-37-220, AS AMENDED, CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, RELATING TO PROPERTY TAX EXEMPTIONS, SO AS TO PROVIDE AN EXEMPTION SUFFICIENT TO KEEP THE PROPERTY TAX VALUE OF A HOMESTEAD FROM INCREASING ONCE THE OWNER ATTAINS THE AGE OF SEVENTY YEARS, TO PROVIDE AN ADDITIONAL TWENTY-FIVE PERCENT EXEMPTION WHEN A PERSON ATTAINS THE AGE OF SEVENTY-FIVE YEARS AND TO INCREASE THE EXEMPTION BY AN ADDITIONAL TWENTY-FIVE PERCENT EVERY FIVE YEARS THEREAFTER, AND TO SPECIFY THE APPLICABILITY OF THE EXEMPTION; AND BY ADDING SECTION 12-45-82 SO AS TO PROHIBIT A TAX EXECUTION ON THE HOMESTEAD OF AN INDIVIDUAL THAT HAS ATTAINED THE AGE OF EIGHTY YEARS.
Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of South Carolina:
SECTION 1. Section 12-37-220(B) of the 1976 Code, as last amended by Act 23 of 2015, is further amended by adding a new item at the end appropriately numbered to read:
"( )(a) Beginning for the property tax year in which an individual receiving the homestead exemption allowed pursuant to Section 12-37-250 attains the age of seventy years, there is exempt an amount of fair market value sufficient to keep the property tax value of the homestead, as such value is defined pursuant to Section 12-37-3135(A)(5), from increasing. If an individual acquires a homestead for which the individual qualifies for the homestead exemption after the individual attains the age of seventy years, then the property tax value to which this subitem applies is the property tax value on December thirty-first of the year in which the homestead is acquired.
(b) Effective for property tax years beginning after 2015 and to the extent not already exempt pursuant to Section 12-37-250 and this section, twenty-five percent of any remaining fair market value of an owner-occupied residential property subject to tax receiving the exemption allowed pursuant to Section 12-37-250 in the year in which the person attains the age of seventy-five years.
(c) Effective for property tax years beginning after 2015 and to the extent not already exempt pursuant to Section 12-37-250 and this section, fifty percent of any remaining fair market value of an owner-occupied residential property subject to tax receiving the exemption allowed pursuant to Section 12-37-250 in the year in which the person attains the age of eighty years.
(d) Effective for property tax years beginning after 2015 and to the extent not already exempt pursuant to Section 12-37-250 and this section, seventy-five percent of any remaining fair market value of an owner-occupied residential property subject to tax receiving the exemption allowed pursuant to Section 12-37-250 in the year in which the person attains the age of eighty-five years.
(e) Effective for property tax years beginning after 2015 and to the extent not already exempt pursuant to Section 12-37-250 and this section, one hundred percent of any remaining fair market value of an owner-occupied residential property subject to tax receiving the exemption allowed pursuant to Section 12-37-250 in the year in which the person attains the age of ninety years.
(f) The additional exemptions allowed by this item continue to apply for a surviving spouse in the same manner that the exemption allowed pursuant to Section 12-37-250 continues to apply."
SECTION 2. Chapter 45, Title 12 of the 1976 Code is amended by adding:
"Section 12-45-82. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, a tax execution may not be issued on the homestead of an individual receiving the homestead exemption allowed pursuant to Section 12-37-250, if the person has attained the age of eighty years. This provision applies so long as the person continues to occupy the homestead."
SECTION 3. This act takes effect upon approval by the Governor and applies for property tax years beginning after 2015.
In mid-October, we received an email from one of our members who listed his significant and serious concerns with the Town water. Subsequently, we developed our response pointing out where we disagreed with his observations and why. Both the member’s email and our response to him are attached.
Note that the member’s email text, excluding his questions on the lack of EBPOA’s commitment to resolving the Town’s quality and quantity issues, was published in the Colletonian newspaper shortly after we received it which clearly put it in the public domain. Therefore, it is mandatory that our membership see both his email and our response to it.
Members E-Mail Click Here
Our Response Click Here
Please advise if you have questions.
Thank you for your support.
Bob Sandifer, President
More on Spring Grove
On Oct. 14, 2015, we forwarded to you a copy of the letter Lloyd Bray, the Chair of the Edisto Island Preservation Alliance, sent to the Charleston County Council on the Spring Grove Development.
On November 1, 2015, a letter to the Editor of the Charleston Post & Courier was published from Nick Lindsay, President of the Edisto Island Community Assoc., which expressed similar concerns to those expressed in Lloyd Bray’s letter. There are two key points noted in Nick’s letter. The letter can be viewed at
1) This development is a threat to the rural character of Edisto Island and has not been addressed in the Spring Grove Project deliberations
2) "Absent a rock-solid binding commitment from Charleston County Council to hold sacrosanct our existing density standards, variance petitioners will ultimately seek County approval of high densities in the name of some identified good or benefactor."
In response to the strong sentiment of these two organizations in support of asking Charleston County Council for more protection for our density standards, the leadership of both are working to form an Island and Beach coalition of all our Island and Town organizations committed to protecting our Island with aggressive preservation of these density standards. The coalition will necessarily have to work through both of the two county councils (Charleston & Colleton).
We believe this coalition coupled with support from the Coastal Conservation League is our best hope of getting the additional protection for our current density standards.
Several of you have indicated your support for doing all we can to protect this special place and asking what you can do to help. In response to this, we first of all urge you to write or email the members of the Charleston & Colleton County Councils urging them to provide a significant commitment to maximize the protection for our current density standards. Attached is a contact list for the two Councils. Additionally, you may want to consider joining either or both of these organizations and getting involved with their efforts.
We will keep you advised.
SPRING Hill Development
We have previously sent you information on the above subject development. We have felt for some time that this development ultimately may well threaten our way of life on Edisto Island and in turn Edisto Beach. Recently, as we have learned even more about this development, we have become increasingly concerned. In response, we believe our Island organizations have reached the only reasonable path forward for us at this point. The attached letter and attachment describes how we feel we should go forward from here. We would urge each of you to familiarize yourselves with this strategy and consider supporting it at every opportunity. Please advise if you have questions. Thank you for your support. Bob Sandifer
If you need information regarding assistance and what you may qualify for, go to www.disasterassistance.gov . You can type in your address. Colleton County has not been declared a disaster, but has applied for assistance and feel we will qualify. We have met the damage threshold to qualify, but are waiting on the State. Homeowners need to wait until this happens.
Beware of Scams - the following is provided by the Buillding Industry of SC
DON'T GET SCAMMED
For immediate release:
|| Sun, Oct 4, 2015 11:31 pm
In the last several days, we were made aware of an Associated Press news release in the Union News in Grass Valley, CA. You may want to view the release http://www.theunion.com/news/18433263-113/cities-across-the-country-bear-rising-cost-of .
The release covers drinking water concerns across the continental US. In the last two paragraphs, Edisto Beach water quality issues are addressed by one of our local residents.
We do believe it is necessary and appropriate to add more information and clarification to this descriptive material so that it accurately represents what was proposed in the 2013 referendum and what is being done now. To this end, the following addresses these needs:
The description material in the news release states, “Voters narrowly rejected a proposal two years ago that would have doubled water rates to pay for an $8.5M
reverse osmosis filtering system”. The $8.5M cost is presented in a way that could be interpreted that it is the cost for the complete system. Actually, the $8.5M is only the capital cost (initial cost) to construct the RO facility and the supporting infrastructure. The $8.5M covers only the following:
Total Estimated Project Cost
Project Description Total Cost_
Middendorf Supply Well (1,700 gpm) $ 2,506,250
Reverse Osmosis Facility (1.2 MGD) $ 3,891,250
ASR Well (State Park) (350 gpm) $ 1,021,250
Distribution (Force Main and Blanding Water Supply $ 1,043,500__________
Total Project Cost $ 8,462,250
However, it does not cover the additional operating& maintenance costs for the system which the designer (URS) lists as $383K per year over the 30 year life of the Town’s bond indebtedness (total of $11.490M). Therefore, the total cost over the 30 years will approximate $20M.
As indicated the June 25, 2013, referendum proposal was rejected by the Town voters.
The current Town Council initiated plans to move forward with a reverse osmosis plant in the past year to resolve the water quality concerns. Currently, the design/build contractor is finalizing its initial design analysis. Clearly, the intent is to move forward with the system while assuring it is the minimum needed to resolve the problems. Bottom-line, we want to see the water quality issue resolved but in a cost effective way.
Finally, the salty taste of our water has been there for many decades. A review of the Town’s compliance with the applicable Water Standards documents shows that little has changed over the last decade or more. The point is it is a problem but it certainly didn’t just develop. Damaging pipes, appliances, etc. also has been around for a long time. It does seem to vary based on where you are on the beach.
Update Spring Grove
My wife and I attended the Public Hearing portion of the County Council meeting last evening. Also, in attendance were Lloyd Bray, Edisto Island Preservation Alliance Chair and Fred Palm and his wife representing the Edisto Island Community Association.
The recommendation of the Planning Commission from their 9-28-15 meeting was presented. This recommends approval with conditions of the Development of County Significance, Comprehensive Plan Amendment, and Zoning Map Amendment/Form Based Zoning District applications. Notably more definitive traffic circulation patterns and restrictions have been added. Much of what has been addressed is the result of comments and concerns expressed by citizens in the 9-16-15 Special Meeting Workshop in Ravenel. To view the documents from the 9-29-15 Public Hearing, go to http://www.charlestoncounty.org/departments/zoning-planning/files/9-29-15-Spring-Grove-PH-Staff-Presentation.pdf.
There were half dozen attendees who spoke during the comment period. Support was near unanimous in support of the Project with economic benefits (jobs, improved services, etc.) as the primary reasons. There were two exceptions:
1.) Rep. Robert Brown of the SC Legislature made an impassioned statement that this is what the folks of St. Paul Parish need. Councilman Darby asked are we just repeating what we saw happen on Hilton Head and Daniel Island where the long standing occupants of the land would be pushed out by the development.
2.) A representative of the Mayor of Hollywood cited current concerns with low drinking water pressure and sewer service and questioned what additional negative effects Spring Grove will have on this.
At this point, it certainly appears that this project is headed for approval. A great deal of safeguards have or are being put in place but the fact remains that we are totally dependent on the Charleston Co. politicians to keep their commitments. Our strongest defense? The Island land already in some form of protection (conservation easements and government owned property which includes the State Park & DNR holdings) which is over 50% of the Island is a strong deferent. We need to encourage more of this. Also, we have a strong ally in the Coastal Conservation League which has endorsed Spring Grove but only if the agreed to zoning restrictions are followed. Their representative reiterated this in a statement last night. This is critically important to us in protecting our Island.
Finally, we need to carefully follow all developments in Spring Grove as well as developments between the edge of Spring Grove and our Island.
We’ll keep you advised.
Proposed Spring Grove Development Special Charleston Co. Planning Commission Meeting/Workshop Sept. 16, 2015 EB Ellington School Ravenel Summary
The meeting was well attended with an estimated 150-200 in attendance which included attendees from Edisto Island.
The proposed development was presented in far more detail than we had heard previously. The project covers 14,508 acres and consists of 8,849 acres of high ground and 5,569 acres of fresh water wetlands. The applicant proposes the project be developed over 50 years with initial implementation over an initial 5 years period and extending beyond that at 10 or more year periods. Allowable densities very from zero to one density unit per 25 acres (75% or 10,144 acres of the project area) with the remaining 3,564 acres to be developed at greater densities. Note a density unit is not just homes but includes office, commercial, industrial, etc.
The proposed project extends generally along either side of US Hwy. 17 from SC Hwy. 165 on the north end to SC Hwy. 174 on the south end. Commercial development principally is planned on the “railroad track” side of 17 and residential and commercial on the opposite side of US Hwy. 17.
When all the projected development units are considered, the result is a town with an estimated 20,000 residents. Obviously, this is long term but worth noting.
The following are the remaining meetings through November 10:
- September 28 Special Planning Commission Meeting: 2:00 PM in Room B-225, Lonnie Hamilton, III Public Service Bldg. 4045 Bridge View Dr., N. Charleston
- September 29 Second Public Hearing: 6:30 PM in Council Chambers Lonnie Hamilton, III Public Service Bldg. 4045 Bridge View Dr., N. Charleston
- October 8 Planning & Public Works Committee Meeting: 5:00 PM Room B-225 Lonnie Hamilton, III Public Service Bldg. 4045 Bridge View Dr., N. Charleston
- October 13 Council First Reading of Ordinances: 6:30 PM Council Chambers (same location as above)
- October 27 Council Second Reading of Ordinances: 6:30 PM Council Chambers (same location as above)
- November 10 Council Third Reading of Ordinances/Final Approval 6:30 PM (same location as above)
We believe this development can be viewed as an ultimate threat to our island and beach. A massive development area less than 20 miles from our island could overwhelm this special place unless we can get a strong commitment from Charleston County Council and the Charleston County Planning Commission to provide our island with the additional protection needed to assure the preservation of Edisto Island as it is today.
Regardless how you may feel on this we would urge you to familiarize yourself with the details of this project. You may view these at http://www.charlestoncounty.org/departments/zoning-planning/projects-sgd.php at the lower half of the page under “Related Documents”. We will continue to follow this and keep you advised.
Please advise if you have questions. Thank you for your support.
Recently we have identified the Spring Grove development along Hwy. 174 from Ravenel to the intersection of SC Hwy. 174 and US Hwy. 17. The attached announcement gives each of us the opportunity to learn more about this project.
We urge you to attend the information meeting if you are available on Sept. 16, 2015.
Spring Grove: Proposed Development At Our Door Step
Mead Westvaco (MWV) announced the Spring Grove development area of East Edisto several years ago. The initial information release was issued in June of 2013 (http://www.eastedisto.com/news/june-26-community-meeting-presentation ). You will note that this development has been proposed for an area near US 17 South just south of SC Hwy. 165 in Ravenel. The ultimate development would extend along US 17 South to an area which includes the intersection of SC Hwy. 174 which is a favorite entry point to our island. You will also note the charts show points of interest including King’s Market on Edisto Island. Both commercial and residential development are planned.
Two new updated links:
This development as currently proposed is a “game changer” for our island and our commitment to preserve what we have on Edisto. We need to follow closely as this moves towards implementation. It also suggests that we keep a strong focus on continuing our efforts to put as much property as possible under some form of protection.
The Edisto …. Our Threatened River?
The Edisto River is one of South Carolina’s most popular rivers for paddling, fishing, and outdoor fun. It’s also the state’s most heavily used river for irrigation, and excessive agricultural water withdrawals are threatening wildlife, recreation, and the water supplies of other uses.
While the state’s permitting process requires industrial and municipal water users to meet requirements to safeguard river health and clean water, large agribusinesses do not. Legislation is desperately needed to end this unfair exemption so that the Edisto, and all of the state’s rivers, can continue to provide sustainable water supplies for all, while supporting river health and recreation.
The longest free flowing blackwater river in the US, the Edisto winds from spring-fed headwaters in the Sandhills of central SC, through the heart of floodplain forests in the Coastal Plain, to the rich estuary of the Ashepoo/Combahee/Edisto (ACE) Basin. It is an intimate river along most of its length – a place where paddlers enjoy solitude and close-up views of diverse plants and wildlife. No dams block the Edisto’s flow; migratory fish are free to run its entire 250 mile length, from ocean to headwaters.
In the heart of the ACE Basin, freshwater arteries sustain one of the most acclaimed natural areas found on the East Coast, where more than 130,000 acres of land have been protected through public/private partnerships. While the river’s character changes along its path, there is one constant – the tannin-stained Edisto waters – the lifeblood of this unique region.
This year’s listing of the Edisto River follows South Fork of the Edisto’s appearance in the 2014 America’s Most Endangered Rivers report. Excessive agricultural water withdrawals continue to be a major threat to the Edisto and other rivers across the state. While municipal and industrial water users are required to get withdrawal permits, SC’s surface water law does not require permits for agricultural water users – this means that the state cannot regulate water use during drought periods to protect the river, water quality, small farmers, and downstream users.
When the South Carolina Surface Water Withdrawal, Permitting, Use, and Reporting Act was passed in 2010, the agricultural exemption from state permitting was a victory for industrial-scale – not traditional – farms in SC. At the time, lawmakers were led to believe that the relaxed measures would help traditional SC farmers. No one envisioned the agricultural exemption from permitting would be exploited by industrial-scale, out-of-state agribusinesses that would use enough water to supply a medium-sized city. However, that’s what is happening, increasing uncertainty for downstream water users, and putting the Edisto and other rivers at increased risk.
This year, a bipartisan group of cosponsors introduced H.3564 in the SC Legislature – a bill that would have ended the exemption of large agricultural water withdrawals from permitting. The bill would have protected SC farmers by allowing existing agricultural registrations to remain in effect, and it would have required new industrial-scale agricultural water users to receive withdrawal permits like all other users.
We urge you to tell our legislators to amend the state’s surface water law to make it fair for all water users and to protect the health and integrity of the state’s rivers for future generations including our Edisto.
Thank you for your support!
Flood Insurance Seminar Followup
As we indicated in several recent emails, the Town of Edisto Beach sponsored the subject seminar this past Thursday at the Civic Center. The Town will get credit for sponsoring this seminar. The seminar was conducted by Paul Abrams representing Smart Vent Products, Inc. Mr. Abrams began by describing their team of certified flood plain managers that have been assembled to evaluate individual private property configurations against the latest NFIP changes dictated by the Biggert-Waters Act and the Grimm-Waters Act. If an individual property owner requests that his property be evaluated then the Team will perform the evaluation and inform the owner of the results in a written report detailing any recommended mitigation options that could reduce the premium cost on you. Potential mitigation options include grandfathering options that can have your property rated at an earlier FEMA Map, LOMA options that could eliminate the mandatory requirement for Flood Insurance and other physical modifications which may include adding flood vents to lower your premium. There is no charge for the evaluations and there is no implied obligation for the property owner to react to the recommendations. Further this is not connected in any way with FEMA or a Federal agency. Obviously, the vendor in this case is hoping that the evaluations will, in some cases, result in “Smart Vent” sales but this seminar was not presented as a sales pitch for their vents.
As indicated in the link below, an individual property owner can request an evaluation by following the instructions outlined. Again, there is no obligation to utilize the results from an evaluation or buy a particular product.
Please advise if you have questions and/or concerns.
Thank you for your support!
Good News on Insurance Rates
A member recently asked if there were any updates on beach renourishment for 2015. Below, for your information, is our response and the latest “critical path” schedule is attached.
In response to your question, I have attached the latest version of the "critical path" schedule for the subject renourishment. The start of construction is identified as November, 2016, with a construction completion date in March, 2017. Groin upgrades would start in January, 2017, and conclude in April, 2017. The start of renourishment in 2016 is consistent with the projected payout date in 2016 for the Edisto Beach portion of the one cent sales tax increase which will be decided by the referendum this November.
This is an aggressive schedule from the standpoint of finding the total funding needed.
If these schedule projection change, we will advise.
Thank you for your support.
Procedures for voting by absentee ballot:
Qualified voters may vote absentee in person or by mail.
In Person - Visit your county voter registration office , complete an application, and cast your ballot. You may vote absentee in person up until 5:00 p.m. on the day before the election. Rules for photo ID required to vote at the polling place apply.
By Mail - Follow these steps to vote absentee by mail. Photo ID is not required to vote absentee by mail.
Step 1: Get an absentee application in one of two ways:
Step 2: You've now printed your application online or received your application in the mail. You must now complete and sign the application and return it to your county voter registration office. You should return the application as soon as possible but no later than 5:00 p.m. on the 4th day prior to the election (the 4th day is Friday for all Tuesday elections). You may return the application by mail, email, fax, or personal delivery.
Step 3: You will be mailed an absentee ballot.
Step 4: Vote the ballot following ballot instructions and return it to your county voter registration office by 7:00 p.m. on the day of the election. You may return the ballot personally or by mail. You may also have another person return the ballot for you, but you must first complete an authorization to return absentee ballot form, available from your county voter registration office.
Deadline to request absentee ballot – June 21st
Early voting at the Walterboro office only to start around June 10th…call number below to make sure of date.
115-A Benson Street
P.O. Box 97
Walterboro, SC 29488
Phone: (843) 549-2842
HOURS OF OPERATION
Office Hours: Monday-Friday 8AM-5PM
7AM-7PM Election Days
Thank you for your support,
For your future use:
Councilmen Addresses and phone numbers.
If you want to be kept informed on developments on Edisto Beach, join the Edisto Beach Property Owners Association by filling out the form below and sending the annual dues of $30.00 to the return address above. Membership entitles you to two tickets to the Annual Meeting complete with BBQ dinner and cocktails.
Edisto Beach Property Address_____________________________________________________
The Town of Edisto Beach
web site is available at
Our thanks to Mike & Nancy Salas who repainted our Scenic Byway sign.
Click here to visit the Edisto Island National Scenic Byway
To learn about Botany Bay WMA Click here
To learn about the driving tour click here
To read the article in South Carolina Wildlife Magazine click here
SC Tax Credit Available
SC allows a tax credit against income tax for primary residences. If your insurance premiums exceed
5% of your income you can claim the excess as a credit against SC income tax up to a maximum of $1,250.
To get the form click here and select form TC 44.
c 2008 EBPOA
Site design by: