Hutchinson Island Collaboration – SHI & NHI
PC Board members met with members of the Board for the North Hutchinson Island association, North Beach Association (NBA), which addresses local issues similarly to PC. We plan to work together on topics that impact both islands (i.e. new development on the islands, fire communication system issues impacting high rises, Utility services provided to NHI and SHI customers). The guest speaker for the upcoming meeting is the County Commissioner Townsend, who represents District 5, which includes NHI. In the future, we may also plan joint PC/NBA meetings on topics that impact both islands.
SLC Utilities – Update SHI Wastewater Treatment Plant (SHIWWTP)
Members of the PC Board met with George Landry, SLC Utilities District, as a follow up to the discussions of late 2019. As you may recall, at that time there was considerable debate and discussion about the appropriate funding strategy for the SHI Wastewater Treatment Plant (SHIWWTP), as part of the system-wide consolidation underway. SLC Utilities and PC came to a compromise agreement that resulted in SHI customers retaining an independent rate schedule with less of an increase that was stepped up over 7 years to cover the plant’s shortfall. The meeting late last month was to discuss and better understand the plant’s current financial standing. Over the last year, to gain efficiencies, management of the plant transferred to SLC Utilities District from the outside firm and improvements/upgrades have also been made to plant equipment. SHI customers will remain on their independent rate structure and there will be no further increases in the wastewater rate schedule for the coming year. PC plans to meet again next year with the District to review the financial standing since the management transfer, and to confirm the proposed rate schedule going forward. We appreciate the willingness of the District management to meet with us to ensure that there is a clear understanding of the funding requirements of the SHI plant.
New Development on SHI
As discussed at the April member meeting, there is significant development on the island. There are no changes to the February Report (available on the pc website https://www.pcofhi.com/updates/category/governmental-affairs) except as highlighted below:
Ouanalao Residences & Resort / Seaside Resort / Tesoro / Ginn-LA
The developer has amended the site plan to remove River/Lagoon amenities of pool, bathhouse, tiki bar and parking lot, and to modify/add other plan details. An application to amend Land Development Code (LDC) to allow alcohol sales in close proximity to a water-front park has been submitted for the benefit of the development’s restaurant.
Presidents Council Board members met with Seaside developer Lee Heaton on 4/27/2021. Mr. Heaton presented site plans, floor plans & marketing material for his ‘unique’ 50-unit resort, renamed Ouanalao. Concerns for resort guests safely crossing A1A and adequate parking were discussed. The SLC Planning review meeting on 5/6/2021 further questioned the scope of the special events and parking requirements.
President’s Council will continue to monitor the development’s progress through various County departments. May 20th is the next SLC Planning & Zoning Commission Hearing where the application to amend the LDC for alcohol will be presented. More information will be provided, when available.
The Alcove Hutchinson/Sea Oats/Paradise Villas
A new sign has been placed on the property south of Island Village, west of A1A. The development is composed of 4 – 3 story townhomes (2 buildings) and according to the website delivery is winter 2021. At this time, the revised site plan has not yet been submitted for review.
Federal Beach Project
Construction Easements - Concerning the last two remaining Construction Easements. Good news! The project regains its forward momentum. Our most recent understanding, as of May 7th, is both construction easements are “acceptable and in the mail" back to the county. Pending is confirmation of their receipt, complete with all signatures and required documents, so they may be accepted and recorded with all the others closing out this required important milestone with the USACE! All thanks to much effort by Congressman Mast, his office, and the county, particularly Commissioner Hutchinson and Joshua Revord.
Funding: Efforts continue to encourage significant county-wide funding sources are committed to the project's construction and post-construction monitoring costs in this year's forthcoming county budget. The next BOCC informal meeting, May 11th, includes discussion on county-wide funding for the project. Further meetings with County Commissioners and staff are anticipated. Your e-mails and letters to Howard Tipton, County Administrator with copies to the County Commissioners are helpful, as outlined on the website (https://www.pcofhi.com/news). All letters sent up to the end of June, before July budget meetings, will support this effort.
Timeline: The project timeline is on track and bid packages will be sent out in July/August, with placement of sand on the beach to begin November 2021. Project duration is about 45 days and will be completed before turtle season begins in March 2022.
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