Letter from Larry Movshin
CSA Board Chairman
July 2020 (Isaias delayed)
Well, as if July’s unusually excessive heat and the growing COVID-19 “positive” cases in our zip code weren’t enough to deal with, August came along with the threat – luckily generally avoided – of a hurricane/tropical storm that kept our attention focused on our local weather reports. Thankfully, our Sea Pines CSA team was fully prepared, with lagoons drained, our popular beach access points limited, and our security team fully engaged to protect our citizenry from the storm’s worst-case potentials. Since Isaias passed Hilton Head with relatively small impact, even on our beaches, let’s talk about what happened in July!
July is typically a month without too much Sea Pines CSA Board or committee activity. But like the extended heat, this year was an exception. Importantly, our Revenue Task Force continued to consider a variety of short and long term solutions for increasing our revenues to meet the expenses associated with fixing our crumbling infrastructure. No stone is being left unturned in considering potential new revenue sources.
It won’t surprise you to know that our major concern with the possible arrival of Isaias was the potential for a serious collapse of any of our stormwater system following what was initially forecasted to be anywhere from 6” to 8” inches of rain. I cannot overstate the need to make major investments in fixing our seriously outdated stormwater systems, as we will continue to face more threats of the type of significant storm that in years past have always seemed to miss Hilton Head without impact.
You also may have seen an article in last week’s Island Packet about the Town of Hilton Head’s need to increase fire and rescue salaries in order to recruit and retain qualified personnel. Recruiting qualified personnel to commute all the way to Sea Pines to join our “private” security force is no less a daunting task. We will therefore be evaluating the amount of additional revenue we may need to recruit and retain the number and quality of security personnel needed to assure that Sea Pines is a safe and secure premier community for our property owners and “guests”.
All of these needs demand more revenue than we currently generate from assessments and gate fees, which is what makes the work of that Revenue Task Force so important. I remain optimistic that the Task Force will be able to make recommendations for new revenue sources in time for consideration by the full Board at our September 29th Board meeting.
We also continue to work on other proposals designed to improve the Sea Pines experience over the remainder of this year. We are studying ways to control the level of noise created by our many lawncare companies, without imposing unreasonable costs on those important service providers that might drive many of them away from doing business in Sea Pines. We are hoping to reorganize our various rules and regulations and add some teeth to the enforcement of our “community standards”. And we have been taking advantage of the Board’s determination to use our existing resources by beginning the engineering and design work on a variety of capital improvement projects.
I’m happy to report that since the Town adopted the “mask mandate,” the number of letters I receive complaining about the activities of our daily and weekly “guests” have generally subsided; I have certainly experienced a high level of compliance with masking and social distancing directives during my visits to the Beach Club and Tower Beach. There is no doubt that life is “different” this tourist season. While we might in years past have joined the tourist crowds at our favorite restaurants and bars, or put up with more crowded grocery and drug stores during the summer months, the COVID-19 pandemic has made us all more wary of going to many places where tourists are predominant, simply because we can’t easily control our “bubble” while they are there.
That said, we have dined at the outdoor seating of several local restaurants (at which all servers and staff were wearing masks and tables were well spaced) or used their take-out and curbside delivery options, so we’ve been able to continue to enjoy the superb dining choices available in and around Sea Pines. To the extent you feel comfortable doing so, I hope you’ll find that life in Sea Pines, even during tourist season, can be “close to normal” notwithstanding the COVID-19 pandemic. And I can assure you that the Board and staff of Sea Pines CSA have taken, and will continue to take, all reasonable steps to meet the ever-changing CDC and SCDHEC guidelines, as necessary to protect everyone who lives, works or visits Sea Pines during the pandemic.
As always, I welcome your comments and suggestions at firstname.lastname@example.org. Stay healthy and safe as the summer months come to a close!