The February issue of Digest invites you to come out to the 2019 Meet the Candidates event Thursday, Feb. 21 at The Sandcastle. Learn about Kiawah Cares’ incredible success with a humanitarian campaign that brought out our members’ generous spirit.
This issue also includes information about association finances and upcoming events.
Wednesday, Jan. 30, the outbound lane of the Kiawah Island Parkway (near the bridge) will be closed between 2-3 p.m. for work associated with the embankment stabilization project.
Flaggers will be present to alternate traffic. Please use caution and give yourself additional time for travel. If you have questions, please call the town at 843-768-9166.
Starting Monday, Jan. 28, the inbound left lane at the Vanderhorst gate will be closed in order to even the surface of the road by replacing the brick pavers. All traffic will be directed to the outside lane. This lane repair is anticipated to take two weeks, as the bricks and mortar must set before traffic can drive over it. This will require security staff to stand away from the gate house, near the right lane, so please approach slowly and use caution. During inclement weather, Security staff will be stationed inside the gate house in order to respond to issues or questions.
Once the inbound left lane is complete, the inbound right lane will be repaired. Again, it will require the lane to be closed for approximately two weeks. During this second part of the project, the gate will be fully staffed.
Thank you for your patience, as we work to complete this project during our off-season. Please drive with extra care near the V-gate in the coming weeks.
Voting is now open to elect two candidates to the KICA Board of Directors. Three candidates are running: David DeStefano, Brendan Magee and David Morley. You will receive your voting materials, with candidate biographies by email on Jan. 7, unless you previously requested a mailed ballot.
When you vote, make sure to assign the proxy to the board secretary to ensure quorum is met. This ensures that the annual meeting and certification of the election can be held without 51% of the membership physically attending the annual meeting. This proxy does not affect your vote in any way.
Visit kica.us/vote for information, candidate biographies and video interviews with the candidates.
Learn about the candidates for the KICA Board of Directors in their own words, and look forward to a new year on Kiawah with COO Jimmy Bailey.
This issue of Digest also includes information about the annual assessment statements and upcoming events.
KICA is funded primarily through property owner and commercial entity assessments (accounting for 82% of operating revenue and 39% of the Major Repairs and Replacements (MRR) revenue), a half percent transfer fee on real estate transactions called Contributions to Reserves or CTRs (38% of MRR revenue), commercial access fees (9% of operating revenue and 13% of MRR revenue) and investment income. In 2019, the association is anticipating revenue consistent with 2018.
When allocating this revenue to pay for expenses (which is done in the latter half of the previous year – in 2018 for the 2019 budget year), funding is allocated to two discrete budgets, the operating budget and the reserve budget.
The Operating Budget funds the predictable association functions including security and livability; land, lakes and general maintenance; administration; recreation and amenity operations.
Of note for 2019, the Operating Budget reflects an 8 percent increase to personnel wages from the 2018 budget. KICA faces the staffing challenges of national low unemployment (2.7% in Charleston County), a dwindling supply of of nearby affordable housing and commuter traffic issues. In order to offer competitive wages and retain quality employees, KICA’s board voted in August 2018 to increase wages for hourly positions to a minimum of $13/hour, which alone accounts for nearly a 5% increase over the 2018 budget.
KICA is also investing in island security and gate operations. Community members would like more stringent gate access procedures, but want to maintain rapid entry for members. Security is implementing new gate access management technology and will expand its pass office later this year to more tightly manage island access for those who arrive without a property owner guest pass or a resort reservation. Stay tuned for more information on these initiatives as they roll out in future months.
The Reserve Budget funds major repairs and replacements to existing Kiawah Island infrastructure. This budget is planned with consideration to the projected life of each association asset for the next 40 years.
The largest expense in the Reserve Budget for 2019, and consistently year-to-year, is drainage. Drainage projects will account for about 43 percent of the Reserve Budget. KICA maintains 43 miles of existing pipe, connecting 119 lakes and ponds, making up 14 drainage basins. Water levels can be managed, to an extent, within the drainage basins, which is crucial to prevent or reduce flooding that can accompany significant rain events.
Other Reserve Budget expenses include the major repair to, or replacement of, 60 miles of roadway and bridges (30 percent of the Reserve Budget), 19 miles of leisure trails and 25 boardwalks (7.5 percent of the Reserve Budget), and large-scale landscape revitalization projects (8.5 percent of the Reserve Budget).
Service has been restored to all KICA facilities around the island, including the Main Gate.
Thank you to our members for their patience while we restored access.
A first holiday on Kiawah takes a wintery turn for a member, leaving her with warm memories. Read one member’s account of 2018’s surprise snowfall in “A Winter Wonderland.”
This issue of Digest also includes a look at the recently-approved 2019 budget and upcoming events.
Earlier this year, Kiawah Partners (KP) sought approval from the Town of Kiawah’s planning commission to extend Duneside Road to Beachwalker Drive. The proposal would have created a second entry to the island, which sparked concerns about island access and safety. Though KICA’s ability to stop the proposal was based on an untested legal position, KICA’s board formally opposed the proposal. KP voluntarily withdrew the proposal, and chose to work with the board in order to avoid litigation and seek a compromise.
In the ensuing months, KICA continued to oppose any plan that resulted in a road connection to Beachwalker Drive and a second access point to the island, and insisted that any compromise had to include the following:
– No connection of Duneside Road to Beachwalker Drive.
– A limitation on the number of units accessible by the extended Duneside Road.
– A financial contribution toward improvements deemed necessary to address safety concerns on the existing portion of Duneside Road.
– KICA and the community would require legal protection that upon approval of any compromise, KP (or any successors) would be prevented from altering the plan in the future.
Several weeks ago, KICA met with representatives of the nearby regimes, along with their attorney, and explained the general framework of a draft Memorandum of Understanding (MOU). While they and KICA would have preferred no extension of the road, failure to compromise could result in a costly legal battle, with an uncertain outcome and at worst, a full connection to Beachwalker as originally proposed with unlimited traffic. Following that meeting, their lawyer sent KICA a letter that continued to express reservations but said the conceptual framework we shared struck a “seemingly reasonable compromise.”
Last week, KICA’s board discussed this legal and contractual matter in Executive Session, and ultimately voted unanimously* to approve an MOU with Kiawah Partners that accomplishes the goals outlined above. A copy of the MOU may be accessed here, along with the covenants and restrictions for the property here. To summarize, the MOU accomplishes the goals set forth above:
– The proposed road extension terminates in a cul-de-sac instead of connecting to Beachwalker.
– The maximum number of units accessible by the proposed extension has been reduced by close to half.
– Kiawah Partners will contribute up to $100K to KICA for safety improvements.
– A Declaration of Covenants and Restrictions will be filed to provide assurance that this issue is resolved once and for all.
While KP and KICA have reached a compromise, the matter will be ultimately decided by the Town of Kiawah Planning Commission. It is anticipated that this item will be on their Dec. 5 agenda. Further information on this meeting can be found here. KICA will provide another update to members after the planning commission meeting.
*Developer-appointed board member Townsend Clarkson recused himself from the Executive session discussion and vote.
South Carolina’s next General Election will be held Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2018.
Go to www.SCVOTES.org for information on the ballot.
Kiawah residents (District 9) can vote in person from 7:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m. at the Municipal Center (4475 Betsy Kerrison Parkway). Photo ID is required.