News briefs for February 16th-22nd

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Beaufort resident Nick Hunt is the 2016 recipient of the Rotary Bowl, the Rotary Club of Beaufort’s highest honor. For more than 40 years, Hunt has worked tirelessly in both his Rotary Club and his community.  He served with the local United Way for five years, he was on the board of the Salvation Army for five years, he recently completed two years as a board member of his church, and he has been a guardian with power of attorney for numerous patients with dementia at Summit Place. At left, Willie Mack Stansell, III, president of the Rotary Club of Beaufort, presents The Rotary Bowl, the most prestigious award of the club, to Hunt, at right, during the club’s Feb. 8 meeting. Photo by Suzi Oliver.
Beaufort resident Nick Hunt is the 2016 recipient of the Rotary Bowl, the Rotary Club of Beaufort’s highest honor. For more than 40 years, Hunt has worked tirelessly in both his Rotary Club and his community. He served with the local United Way for five years, he was on the board of the Salvation Army for five years, he recently completed two years as a board member of his church, and he has been a guardian with power of attorney for numerous patients with dementia at Summit Place. At left, Willie Mack Stansell, III, president of the Rotary Club of Beaufort, presents The Rotary Bowl, the most prestigious award of the club, to Hunt, at right, during the club’s Feb. 8 meeting. Photo by Suzi Oliver.

Various offices to close for Presidents Day

Following are government offices and other facilities that will be closed Monday, Feb. 20, for Presidents Day:

• All local, state and federal government offices (there will also be no postal delivery) and libraries.

• The South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles (The DMV also reminds customers that the days before and after a holiday are often extremely busy at DMV. Customers may want to choose another time to visit their local DMV office or process their transactions online at the agency website atwww.scdmvonline.com).

Public invited to learn more about new city code

The city of Beaufort Planning Department has been working on an update to its Unified Development Ordinance, which was adopted in 2003. 

During 2015 and 2016, the city hosted a number of public meetings to review drafts of the Beaufort Code. Comments heard during that time, most recently during the meetings held May through August of 2016, were incorporated into a new draft, which was released Jan. 26. 

A series of meetings have been scheduled for the public to learn more about the code and what has changed, as well as to begin the public review process. Public meetings will be held at 2 p.m. Monday, Feb. 20, and 5:30 p.m. Monday, Feb. 22.

There will also be work sessions held at 4 p.m. Thursday, March 2, Tuesday, March 7, and Thursday, March 9. A regular meeting of the planning commission will be held at 5:30 p.m. Monday, March 20.

All meetings will be held at City Hall at 1911 Boundary St.

For more information about the Beaufort Code, visit www.cityofbeaufort.org/beaufort-code.aspx.

Public meeting to be held on Sea Island Parkway plan

Interested persons are invited to attend a public information meeting regarding the Lady’s Island Sea Island Parkway Corridor Study. The meeting will be held at 6 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 16, in the Lecture Theater at Lady’s Island Middle School, 30 Cougar Drive on Lady’s Island.

Letters for Hope hosts first event

A letter-writing group called Letters for Hope will host its kick-off event from 10 a.m. to noon Saturday, Feb. 25, at the Bluffton Community Library, located at 120 Palmetto Way, Bluffton.

The goal for Letters for Hope is to encourage involved citizens in Beaufort County to voice their concerns to politicians in a constructive and compassionate manner through hand-written letters. Limited writing supplies, including paper, pens, envelopes and postage, will be available. 

Parents are encouraged to bring children. Letters for Hope will be an educational opportunity for elementary school students who are just learning how to write, as well as high school students who are looking to become more involved in their community. A tutor will be available to help those who are having trouble constructing their letters. Worksheets with tips on how to write a letter, along with addresses for local politicians, also will be provided.

RSVP by Wednesday, Feb. 22, by calling 843-415-3490 or e-mailing info@letterforhope.org. Kid-friendly snacks and coloring books will be provided for little ones.

Letters for Hope aims to inspire people to become more involved in their national and global communities by regularly writing letters to legislators about policies that concern them. The goal is to encourage people to host their own Letters for Hope events — whether it’s a gaggle of friends in someone’s home or a larger affair that invites the entire community.

For more information about Letters for Hope, visit www.lettersforhope.org.

Lady’s Island forum to be held Feb. 23

The Sea Island Corridor Coalition and Coastal Conservation League will hold a community forum focused on rethinking the future of Lady’s Island and the S.C. 21/Sea Island Parkway corridor. 

The forum will be held from 6-8:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 23, in the Lady’s Island Elementary School cafeteria at 73 Chowan Creek Bluff.

The public is encouraged to attend to discuss issues related to development, traffic and community preservation. 

Speaking will be Victor Dover, of Dover, Kohl & Partners, author of the Port Royal revitalization plan, the Boundary Street plan in Beaufort, the neighborhood of I’On in Mount Pleasant, the Rethink Folly Road corridor plan, and co-author of “Street Design: The Secret to Great Cities and Towns.”

RSVP to www.coastalconservationleague.org/events/designing-future-ladys-island-community-forum.

Property tax bills mailed to residents

The Beaufort County Treasurer’s Office has mailed the first of six installment tax bills for tax year 2017.  

The deadline to pay the first installment has been extended to Tuesday, Feb. 28.

The deadline to pay property tax bills without penalty was Feb. 15. After that date, properties with an outstanding balance for tax year 2016 were removed from the installment program and the property owner will be refunded any installment monies already paid.

As a reminder, the Treasurer’s Office does not accept installment payments online. Payments can be made by visiting any of the office’s three locations or by mail.

Additional information can be found on the Treasurer’s Office website, BeaufortCountyTreasurer.com.

Annual oriole count to be held Feb. 17-20

The S.C. Department of Natural Resources (SCDNR) will conduct an annual Baltimore Oriole Winter Survey from Friday, Feb. 17, to Monday, Feb. 20, in conjunction with the Great Backyard Bird Count. 

The state natural resources agency is interested in the status and distribution of these colorful songbirds that have begun wintering in the Palmetto State.

Baltimore orioles usually winter in South and Central America, and historically it was unusual to see one in South Carolina during the winter. 

However, during the last few decades, they have been wintering along the East Coast and Southeast in greater abundance. South Carolina had orioles as far inland as Greenville and along the coastal zone from Myrtle Beach to Hilton Head Island.

Orioles by nature have a “sweet tooth” and will eat nectar from flowers and wild fruits. Their favorite bird-feeding food by far seems to be grape jelly. Orange halves can be used to attract the orioles into your yard, but grape jelly will encourage them to return. 

Other items they will eat are suet products (homemade, cakes, bark butter, logs, etc.), sugar water (they will drink from hummingbird or oriole nectar feeders), seed mixes (they seem to prefer nut and fruit mixes), sliced grapes, mealworms (live or freeze-dried), sweet cornbread and pound cake.

Survey participants count and record the largest number of Baltimore orioles they can see at one time, on one, two, three or all four days of the survey period. 

For more information, contact Lex Glover at GloverL@dnr.sc.gov.

For more information on the Great Backyard Bird Count, visit gbbc.birdcount.org. 

Beaufort County to offer free electronics recycling

The Beaufort County Public Works Department Solid Waste and Recycling Office will host a free electronics recycling event for county residents from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 18, at Beaufort County Public Works, 140 Shanklin Road, Beaufort.

Any personal computers, laptops, CRT monitors, LCD monitors, CRT televisions, non-CRT televisions, printers, hard drives and miscellaneous electronics (microwaves, lamps, cell phones, radios, fax machines and typewriters) will be accepted.

For more information, call the Solid Waste and Recycling Office at 843-255-2736 or visit www.bcgov.net/recycle. 

Poll manager training is being offered

The Board of Voter Registration and Elections of Beaufort County will be conducting new poll manager training. 

All persons interested in working the polls for the first time can enroll in one of these sessions.

Training will be held at the Voter Registration and Elections Office at 15 John Galt Road in Beaufort from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 28; 4-8 p.m. Thursday, April 13; 4-8 p.m. Thursday, June 8; and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 19.

To register for the training, call 843-255-6900 or send an email to include the preferred date of the training you wish to attend and a phone number where you can be reached during the day to voter@bcgov.net.

Road work underway on Brickyard Point

Asphalt paving operations will take place on Brickyard Point Road (from Middle to Pleasant Point) on Lady’s Island through Saturday, Feb. 18.

County: Residents should not put debris at curb

Beaufort County advises residents to immediately stop placing storm-generated debris at rights-of-way. 

The county’s debris monitoring firm has inventoried all remaining debris for pickup by contractors. 

Any storm-generated debris that was not placed at the right-of-way prior to inventory must be properly removed and disposed of by the property owner.

“We want to thank all residents who followed the FEMA-issued guidelines when placing debris at the curb to help expedite the process,” said Jim Minor, Beaufort County Solid Waste director.