NEWS BRIEFS

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Coastline welcomes Keyserling

The newest episode of The County Channel’s series Coastline welcomes back the former Mayor of Beaufort, Billy Keyserling. Host Rick Forschner takes the audience into Mr. Keyserling’s next chapter and beyond with a discussion on his new book, Sharing Common Ground: Promises Unfulfilled but Not Forgotten. Net proceeds from the sale of the book go to funding The Second Founding of America: Reconstruction Beaufort and the Reconstruction Education Network.

Coastline airs on The County Channel at 9:30 a.m. Sundays, at 11:30 a.m. Tuesdays, at 8 p.m. Thursdays and 9 a.m. Fridays.

Coastline is a monthly news show filmed in-studio and produced by The County Channel. Watch via YouTube: https://youtu.be/OvV98QclTuU.

Watch all programming for The County Channel on Comcast Ch. 2, Hargray Chs. 9 and 113, and Spectrum Ch. 1304. Viewers can also watch programming live and on-demand at The County Channel’s website at www.beaufortcountysc.gov.

Historical Society hosting presentation on Reconstruction

The Beaufort County Historical Society, in partnership with the Beaufort District Collection of the County Library, invites the public to view a presentation by Dr. J. Brent Morris, Professor of History and Humanities Department Chair at USC Beaufort.

Morris’s talk is entitled “The Birth and Death of Reconstruction in S.C., 1861-1877” and can be viewed online at the website www.beaufortcountyhistoricalsociety.com under the Events tab. The program will be accessible on the website from Jan. 21 through Feb. 14, 2021.

Morris is a nationally-recognized scholar on the Reconstruction Era in American history. He has authored several books on the subject and has received numerous awards for his research and publications. With a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities, he initiated and directed the USC B summer Institute for the Study of the Reconstruction Era which drew teachers from across the country.

Morris’s presentation will give viewers additional insight into why Beaufort has been named the Reconstruction Era National Historic Park. For additional information contact ndcgilley@gmail.com.

Beaufort Republican Women’s Club holding membership luncheon

The Beaufort Republican Women’s Club will hold its annual Membership Drive Luncheon at 11:30 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 20 in the Carolina Room at the Dataw Island Club, 123 Dataw Dr., St. Helena Island.

State Senator Tom Davis and Representative Shannon Erickson will be the featured speakers. The cost of the luncheon is $30 and is by reservation only.

In spite of the Covid 19 pandemic, 2020 was a successful year for the Club with outdoor events and an active GOP Headquarters. For reservations, call Diane Roney at 843-838-4972 by Feb. 10.

New construction continues to be strong in Beaufort

Despite facing headwinds from the Covid-19 pandemic, new construction in the City of Beaufort continued at a strong pace in 2020.

The City issued 66 permits for single-family homes in 2020, and 7 permits for commercial buildings. This compares to 50 single-family home permits and 8 commercial permits in 2019.

The estimated value of the residential units was $25.6 million, and $12.5 million in commercial construction. Several of the residential permits came from the Overlook at Battery Creek subdivision.

The new commercial buildings included a Sub Station II sandwich shop on Trask Parkway, Col. Clean Car Wash on Robert Smalls Parkway, and a new Beaufort County government building on Ribaut Road.

In 2019, 9 apartment buildings were issued permits; none were issued in 2020.

Other 2020 activities logged by the City’s Department of Community & Economic Development include:

409 permits for residential repairs/renovations

109 permits for commercial repairs/renovations

12 demolitions

624 code violations

6 annexation petitions

Total revenue from all permits was $439,079, of which approximately $188,000 was from new construction.

Friends of Beaufort Library announce COVID relief check

Hundreds of local organizations applied for federal COVID-19 relief grants ranging from $2,500 to $50,000, administered through S.C.’s Nonprofit Relief Grant Program. These federal funds are designed to help nonprofit organizations who have lost significant portions of their income because of the Pandemic.

Sandy Schuster, treasurer of the Friends of Beaufort Library, applied for and received one of four library grants. The grant of $32,000 will help replace revenue lost because of several fundraisers that had to be canceled because of the virus outbreak. The funds will allow continued support for the three branches of the Beaufort libraries, at Scott St., St. Helena and Lobeco.

“This is truly a case of taxpayer dollars returning to support our local communities!” Shuster said.

City’s financial statements comply with all standards, auditors say

The City of Beaufort’s Comprehensive Annual Financial Report was presented to City Council at its Work Session on Jan. 12.

The Annual Financial Report is a look at the City’s finances during its fiscal year, from July 1, 2019, through June 30, 2020. The financial statements were audited by the accounting firm of Mauldin & Jenkins, LLC, which issued a “clean audit opinion” and noted that the City complied with government auditing standards.

The City has an AA rating from Standard & Poor’s and an Aa2 rating from Moody’s Investor Services for general obligation debt, meaning that the City hasa very strong capacity to meet its financial commitments.

The Comprehensive Annual Financial Report can be found on the City’s website at http://bit.ly/3agmw17.

Registration open for Beaufort County PALS spring sports

Registration for spring sports has begun in Beaufort County. Visit https://www.bcscrec.com for information on youth soccer, baseball, softball, flag football, and lacrosse.

County to adopt Southern Lowcountry Stormwater Design Manual

Beaufort County has adopted the Southern Lowcountry Stormwater Design Manual for implementation on Feb. 1.

All projects submitted to staff for permitting prior to Feb. 1 shall be reviewed under the most current Beaufort County Best Management Practices Manual. Projects submitted to staff for permitting after Feb. 1 will be required to use the Southern Lowcountry Design Manual.

The County will be holding a virtual training session on the new Southern Lowcountry Design Manual from 9 a.m. to noon Thursday, Jan. 28.

For more information, or to receive the link for the virtual training session, please call the Beaufort County Stormwater Department at 843-255-2805 or visit https://www.beaufortcountysc.gov/stormwater/.

BJWSA offering Consumer Academy

Beaufort-Jasper Water & Sewer Authority will hold a virtual Consumer Academy for the public during the month of February. Classes are at 5 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 2, 9, 16 and 23, hosted live on the company website, www.bjwsa.org.

Registration for the weekly, 45-minute sessions is available through Lou Brown, public education and engagement planner, at lou.brown@bjwsa.org. Brown will provide a link to participants.

Topics will include an overview of the authority, presentations by managers and directors on sustainability, water and wastewater treatment and customer engagement. Each session will include time for questions and answers.