County Council approves almost $5 million for local events and parks

From staff reports

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, according to a Tuesday news release.

“Local Accommodations Tax (“Local A-Tax”) helps to ensure our County is a great place to live, work and play,” Beaufort County Public Information Officer Chris Ophardt said in the release. “The County Administration would like to thank all those that applied.”

Beaufort County started the Local Accommodation Tax and Local Hospitality Tax application process in October 2021, with the closing of applications on December 31. The applications were reviewed by the Local Accommodation Tax and Local Hospitality Tax Committee for compliance with the local statutes and their individual need and merit.

The Local Accommodation Tax Fund budgeted $2,579,920 to award, and Local Hospitality Tax Fund budgeted $2,396,736 to award for combined total of $4,976,656 available to award for 2022.

List of approved projects include:

Whitehall Park Construction on Lady’s Island – $560,478

Annual Boat Landing Maintenance – $200,000

Burton Wells Pickleball Courts – $200,000 … Note: $140,000 awarded by State ATAX

Daufuskie Island Beach Access and Restrooms – $250,000

Friends of the Spanish Moss Trail – Ribaut Road Crossing – $125,000

Beaufort Executive Airport – Terminal Exterior Rejuvenation – $75,000

Hilton Head Island Airport Air Service Marketing – $30,000

Broad River Fishing Pier – Phase II – $230,000

Friends of Port Royal Cypress Wetlands – Trail Map Brochure Birthday for the Birds 2022 – $1,375 partial award for marketing funds

HHI St. Pat’s Parade Foundation – 2022 St. Patrick’s Day Parade – $10,000

Daufuskie Island Foundation Daufuskie Day Celebration – $12,600

Sea Turtle Patrol HHI – Sea Turtle Hospitality Event – $5,000

2023 Beaufort Oyster Festival – $20,000 – Full award for marketing, police, fire and security costs. City of Beaufort co-sponsors event and contributes in-kind services.

Pat Conroy Literacy Center – $134,000

Gullah Museum of HHI – Gullah Museum Migrant House Renovation Project – $36,875

First African Baptist Church of Beaufort – Repair and Preservation of Church – $259,480

Tabernacle Baptist Church – Harriet Tubman Statue – $250,000

List of projects that did not receive funding:

Okatie River Park Construction – $615,562

Reason: project deemed not enough of a tourist draw to fund.

Friends of Beaufort County Library – Annual Book Sale – $15,000

Reason: Event at facility owned by another entity. FOBL should pursue funding from the City of Beaufort

Penn Center – Phase II – $1,200,000

Reason: Funds from 2019 Award unspent; ineligible for further funding at this time.

Public Boat Landings Study – $162,966

Reason: Funding a study deemed outside the scope of allowable ATAX/HTAX allocations

Friends of Beaufort County Library Story Walk – $10,000

Reason: All signs will be installed within the City of Beaufort; final sites not yet determined. City of Beaufort has not been approached for ATAX funding

Beaufort Co. Black Chamber of Commerce

Kentucky Derby 2022 – $34,700

Travel Professionals of Color Conference – $33,645

Southeast Business Summit – $30,500

Black Moses Freedom Festival – $44,500

Art for Art’s Sake – $17,000

Reason: Reporting incomplete, previous awards unspent; Ineligible for further awards

Port Royal Sound Foundation Research Campus – $442,000

Reason: Reporting incomplete, previous awards unspent; Ineligible for further awards

Wimbee Creek Fishing Pier – $800,000

Reason: Demolition on its own is not an allowable expense.

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