WAHHI HONORS STUDENTS FOR COMMUNITY SERVICE

The Women’s Association of Hilton Head Island announced the winners of the 2022 Youth Community Service Award. The recipients are Addie DeVaney (May River High School); Beckett Jones (Hilton Head Preparatory School); Edy McGoldrick (Hilton Head High School); Theodore Oldham (John Paul II Catholic School); and Jennifer Richardson (Bluffton High School). The program recognizes outstanding local students who excel at community service. Each student received a $1,000 award. The award began in 1980.

TOWN OF HILTON HEAD PURSUES PUBLIC-PRIVATE PARTNERSHIP

BY TONY KUKULICH

Faced with a shortage of affordable housing and unsuccessful attempts to encourage private development to meet that need, the Town of Hilton Head Island is pursuing a public-private partnership strategy to develop workforce housing on 13 acres of north-island property owned by the Town.

The 33rd All Saints Garden Tour is set for Saturday, May 21. This self-guided tour from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. includes six distinctive gardens located on Hilton Head Island and in Bluffton. There will be no lunch, boutique, or bake sale at All Saints Episcopal Church because of COVID concerns. Proceeds will support six local charities that support hunger, homelessness, literacy and/or aging.

The Lowcountry mourned the loss of Andrew Farbman, owner of Amigos Cafe Y Cantina in Bluffton, who was killed after he was struck by a car when walking on Spanish Wells Road on Easter Sunday.

A Hilton Head Island resident, Farbman, 62, was known for his business acumen and his friendly demeanor.

The races are set for the Beaufort County elections. The primaries are June 14, ahead of November’s general election.

Incumbent Sheriff P.J. Tanner will be challenged by JoJo Woodward for the Republican nomination.

Mayfest is back. The 42nd anniversary of the event, coordinated by The Rotary Club of Bluffton, returns 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on May 7. Bluffton Mayfest in Old Town Bluffton will feature more than 125 artists and food vendors. Admission is free. The featured artist is Kelly Logan Graham. Two stages — the main stage in Martin Family Park and a second stage on Bridge Street — will provide a variety of entertainment.

A two-year study called “Beaufort County Adapts: Sea Level Impacts Beneath Our Feet” has been funded by a grant of nearly $300,000 from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Climate Program Office to the S.C. Sea Grant Consortium.

“This study will better prepare us for what’s happening underneath our feet, below the ground, so that we can gain additional important tools for our kit to improve resiliency and combat the effects of rising sea levels,” said Rob Merchant, Planning and Zoning Director for Beaufort County.

Colorado State University researchers expect an above-normal hurricane season. The forecast includes an expected 19 named storms, nine hurricanes and four major hurricanes (Category 3 or higher).

The Hilton Head Island Town Council approved final reading of an ordinance that redraws the boundaries for the island’s six Town Council wards. The new ward boundaries are effective immediately. The public can search for their ward by entering their street address into an interactive map on the Town’s website at hiltonheadislandsc.gov/redistricting. Search results will identify the resident’s ward and town council representative.

Beaufort County Council unanimously approved nearly $5 million in grants to local organizations and park projects that will help with tourism and activities for visitors and residents. The approved projects include Whitehall Park Construction on Lady’s Island ($560,478); Hilton Head Island Airport Air Service Marketing ($30,000); Broad River Fishing Pier - Phase II - ($230,000); and Gullah Museum of HHI, Gullah Museum Migrant House Renovation Project, ($36,875).

The first reading of the proposed Hilton Head short-term rental ordinance is on the agenda for the May 3 town council meeting. The ordinance addresses licenses, permits, fees and taxes; vehicles and parking; noise management; violations; complaint tracking and response; and trash storage and removal. Town staff recommends an annual fee be assessed for short-term rental permits.

Beaufort County Council voted 11-0 to approve the funding plan and give the greenlight to the Hilton Head Island Airport Terminal Upgrade project. The estimated $55 million project will go up for construction bids in May. It will include approximately 43,000 more square feet for terminal space, three jet ways for passengers, new parking, security upgrades, a new baggage claim, a new grand hall and a four-lane passenger drop-off and pick-up area, the Town of Hilton Head said. The project should be underway by the end of the year and is estimated to be completed by mid to late 2025.

BY COURTNEY HAMPSON

The Lowcountry is a community in crisis. When we drive from Bluffton to Hilton Head, we pass community after community with landscaped entrances, fountains and gates.

But that drive does not accurately reflect the true picture of Beaufort and Jasper counties. The interconnected issues of education, housing and transportation contribute to poverty in our community and our neighbors are suffering.

WAHHI AWARDS EIGHT GRANTS TO NONPROFITS

The Women’s Association of Hilton Head Island awarded eight $1,500 community grants to nonprofit organizations. WAHHI awarded the following grants: The Children’s Center; Hopeful Horizons; Love House Learning Academy; Lowcountry Alliance for Healthy Youth; LowCountry Legal Volunteers; NOC; Sandalwood Community Food Pantry; and Pregnancy Center. Since its founding in 1961, WAHHI has donated thousands of dollars to projects that benefit local charitable organizations.

COUNTY SCHOOL DISTRICT FACES RAPID GROWTH, POPULATION SHIFTS

STORY AND PHOTOS BY TONY KUKULICH

There are any number of challenges that school district administrators face every day and chief among the issues facing the Beaufort County School District is accommodating the explosive growth that has taken place in the county in recent years. Matching the district’s capacity to educate students to the number of students enrolled is a careful balancing act.