Message from the Chair: Storm Restoration Costs

Posted In Community

Dear Fellow KICA Member,

For the third straight fall, our community faces a natural disaster-related clean up. Thankfully, the storm shifted west from its original projected track and we missed the worst of it. Those in Texas who are still reeling from Hurricane Harvey, as well as the people who took direct hits from Irma, face restoration and recovery far worse than anything here on Kiawah.

Despite our good fortune, winds were strong, rain was heavy, and the biggest storm surge since Hurricane Hugo in 1989 flowed back and forth across much of the island. As a result, Kiawah experienced meaningful damage. Some damage was much worse than Matthew, especially the roads, while other things fared better this time. The surge caused major damage to some roads, leisure trails, and our boardwalks. Our KICA team began clean up and repairs the moment the storm passed, and on behalf of the board and all of you, I extend our appreciation for their hard work and commitment to the community. It’s also been heartwarming to see the community spirit of members-helping-members over the last few days.

The KICA Board of Directors held a special meeting yesterday for the sole purpose of discussing storm recovery. Staff reviewed their initial damage assessment, as well as very preliminary estimates on cost. The board then discussed and reaffirmed KICA’s Named Storm Policy, which calls for an assessment of members to cover these unbudgeted expenses. As a reminder, KICA develops reserves to replace roads, bridges, boardwalks, and other infrastructure based on reasonable projections of expected useful life, however we do not have a reserve for natural disasters. Therefore, when material costs are incurred for storm clean-up, they must be recouped by a supplemental assessment.

While we don’t have final costs yet, we expect the amount to be similar to last year’s assessment for Hurricane Matthew, which was $250/improved residential property (commercial entities such as the resort pay substantially more). Final costs and the amount of the assessment are expected by the end of next week, and will be billed on Oct. 1.

Dave Singer
Chairman of the Board
Kiawah Island Community Association