Important News and Announcements from KICA
Friday, Sept. 22 | 3 p.m. | Sandcastle Ballroom (1 Shipwatch Rd)
Tomorrow, Sept. 22, KICA is holding a special meeting on the proposed land trade. For members who have not yet voted on the proposal, you can still cast a vote in person at this meeting.
Want to be involved but can't attend in person? The meeting will be livestreamed and available on the KICA website after the meeting. Visit kica.us/livestream at the start of the meeting to view. The page will display all KICA videos, with this session first, marked "LIVE NOW" in red. Just click that display to join. If you cannot tune in live, you may watch the video at any time after.
For details on all matters relating to this vote, visit kica.us/parceltrade.
Recovery and restoration following Hurricane Irma is well underway and the island is beginning to return to normal operations. The following KICA-owned boardwalks are now open, allowing safe access to the beach:
BW-1 (Duneside Villas) - ramp
BW-7 (Seascape Villas) - ramp
BW 8-A (Sandcastle Pool Deck) - ramp only
BW 8-B (Between Sandcastle and Eugenia Ave) - ramp
BW-9 (Between 7 and 9 Eugenia Ave)
BW-10 (Eugenia at Surfwatch Rd) - ramp
BW-12 (Eugenia at Low Oak Woods Rd)
BW-14 (Between 61-B and 63-A Eugenia Ave)
BW-15 (Between 69 and 71 Eugenia Ave)
BW-22 (Windswept Villas) - ramp
BW-27 (End of Turtle Beach Ln) - ramp
BW-29 (Between Atlantic Beach Ct and Nicklaus Ln)
BW-31 (Between 341 and 342 Surfsong Rd) - ramp
BW-32 (Between 55 and 56 Surfsong Rd) - ramp
BW-33 (Between 63 and 64 Surfsong Rd)
BW-35 (Jackstay Ct)
BW-40 (Between Sand Fiddler Ct and Ocean Marsh Rd) - ramp
Some of these boardwalks will still need some modifications, but they are currently open for use. The boardwalks with ramps are indicated above.
There are also a number of leisure trails open for use:
Kiawah Island Parkway
Ocean Course Drive
Kiawah Beach Drive
Sea Forest Drive
Turtle Beach Lane
Marsh Hawk Tower
Marsh Island Tower
Blue Heron Pond Tower
Trails leading to KICA boardwalks
Members should still use caution on these trails and avoid areas that are barricaded off for their safety.
As updates on boardwalk and leisure trail status and openings become available, they will be posted to kica.us/boardwalks.
Due to impacts from Hurricane Irma, the KICA Board of Directors meeting and the Nominating Committee Open House originally scheduled for Sept. 11 were postponed. They have since been rescheduled to Friday, Sept. 22.
KICA Board Meeting - Friday, Sept. 22 at 2:30 p.m. at the Sandcastle. View meeting agenda.
Nominating Committee Open House - Friday, Sept. 22 at the Sandcastle immediately following the Parcel Trade Special Meeting (approx. 3:30 - 4 p.m.)
For more information on the KICA board, visit kica.us/board.
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.
Chairman of the Board
Kiawah Island Community Association
All island organizations have been working towards recovery. Today's operations have included evaluation of the beach and boardwalks.
-KICA-owned boardwalks are being inspected by in-house and contracted engineers. We hope to have results soon so members may safely access the beach. Until then, the Town of Kiawah Island urges property owners and guests to stay off the beach and out of the water for your own safety. There is hazardous debris scattered along the length of the beach and floating in the ocean, posing hazardous risks.
-Roads are open, with no standing water. There are several sink holes, which are marked/barricaded.
-Temporary repairs have been made to the Rhett's Bluff Landing boat dock, which is now open for use.
-KICA leisure trails are closed for inspection and repair until further notice. Again, for your safety, do not attempt to use trails, which are littered with debris and may have sink holes. Special thanks to the resort's Recreation Department which has been assisting with this work.
-The Bass Pond dock remains closed until further notice.
-Berkeley Electric has restored power to all but 94 homes (primarily the eastern end of island, and a small group in the Sea Marsh area). BEC crews continue work to restore service to the remaining homes.
-Comcast is still experiencing wide outages. Mechanics are on-island checking infrastructure to restore service.
-The island is open for your contractors and service personnel. The pass office is open at 23 Beachwalker, from 7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Please continue to drive cautiously and be alert for recovery personnel, who may be working in unexpected areas.
Thank you for your patience and support during this time.
In 2015, Kiawah Island faced a 1000-year flood event, followed the next year by the damaging winds and rain of Hurricane Matthew. Texas was one of the states that supported South Carolina with Hurricane Matthew relief. A few days ago, Hurricane Harvey made a catastrophic landfall in coastal Texas as a category 4 storm, and rainfall from the storm has not yet stopped. Texas now faces disastrous record rainfall and hurricane damage across a large eastern section of the state.
Some communities are destroyed, while others are underwater and facing the prospect of more rainfall. Thousands of families are displaced. The many Kiawah Island property owners who call the area home are now confronting one of the most significant natural disasters in American history. Kiawah Islanders are asked to stand with Texas by giving financial support to disaster relief charities in these areas, which have been working ceaselessly to help these communities. Following are just a few of the many organizations providing aid:
American Red Cross
Providing an immediate volunteer response, the Red Cross established emergency shelters, with food and supplies, for families evacuated from their homes across the region. Donations of at least $10 can be made by calling 1-800-733-2767, texting HARVEY to 90999 or through the Red Cross website.
The Salvation Army is providing food and shelter to victims, while lending a hand with cleanup. The organization is also collaborating with local, state and federal governments to develop and execute a long-term disaster relief and recovery plan. Visit the Salvation Army website or text STORM to 51555 to give.
The Catholic Charities provide immediate relief to storm victims, including cash assistance, food, water, personal care supplies, cleaning materials and more. The group assesses the needs of disaster survivors and works with them over the long term to meet their needs. Visit the Catholic Charities website.
Feeding Texas is a statewide nonprofit that works alongside state and federal relief efforts. The organization coordinates with the state and other providers so that relief reaches families quickly and the 'second disaster' of an unorganized response is avoided.
People With Disabilities
Portlight Strategies facilitates projects involving people with disabilities, including post-disaster relief work. The organization reports its disaster hotline has received urgent requests from people in need.
Join KICA and the Kiawah Conservancy for a community Q&A session at the Sandcastle on Thursday, Aug. 24 at 2 p.m.
Ways to View the Q&A
-In person at the Sandcastle
-Via Live Stream - Visit kica.us/livestream at the start of the meeting. The page will display all KICA videos, with this session first, marked "LIVE NOW" in red. Just click that display to join.
-Watch a Replay - A replay of the session will be available immediately following the meeting at kica.us/livestream.
Livestreaming allows you to listen live to the session, and is not interactive. However, if after reviewing the detailed materials and FAQs you still have questions, you may email them to email@example.com.
Proposal materials, including maps of the properties in question, a message from the chair and updated FAQs, are available for review at kica.us/parceltrade.
Information and ballot packets were mailed and emailed last week to all primary members. If you have not previously voted, you may vote in one of the following ways:
-Mailed Ballot - USPS mail was postmarked Aug. 14, though some locations are just now seeing delivery. If by the end of the week you have not received a packet, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
-Online Voting - An email with personalized voting codes was sent on Aug. 15 to all primary household email addresses on file with our office. If you have not received an email, please check your spam/junk folder or with other email holders in your household. The email subject is 2017 Kiawah Island Community Association Property Vote Ballot Link, and it was sent from email@example.com. To have an email resent or to update your email address contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
-In-person or by proxy - At the Sept. 22 special meeting
Because quorum is required to conduct the vote, online voting is preferred and encouraged. Online and phone voting are open until 5 p.m. on Sept. 13. At this time, proxy voters will be contacted to cast the votes assigned to them. All other voting after this date must be done in-person at the Sept. 22 meeting.
Please note that the Vote-Now ballots are anonymous and cannot be responded to. If you have a question/comment, or are the primary member of a property and haven't received your email or ballot, contact Holly Newman at email@example.com.
In this issue, learn more about the proposed land trade between KICA and Kiawah Partners and how it could benefit Kiawah (view full details on the land trade, including an updated FAQ), discover how you could impact Kiawah's future on the board of directors, get to know KICA's two newest managers, and much more!
Our community is made up of a diverse group of homeowners. Association members range from full- to part-time residents, single family owners to condo and villa owners, club members to non-club members, renters to regime owners, etc. Regardless, we are all members of KICA, and if our board of directors reflects our community, it will be better positioned to understand the different perspectives that exist among our membership.
The KICA Nominating Committee was formed for this very reason, to help build and maintain a board with the skill and diversity to provide effective governance for the community. The committee, consisting of a small group of volunteer members, works with the board and chief operating officer to evaluate the most important candidate qualifications and characteristics needed for incoming board members .
All interested members are urged to attend an informational session after the regularly scheduled board of directors meeting in September (NOTE that this meeting has been postponed due to potential impacts from Hurricane Irma). The board meeting begins at 1 p.m. and the information session will begin directly following. (The brief presentation and Q&A portion of the program will be available on the KICA website after the meeting.)
Any member may run for board service by submitting an application package, which includes background information and a statement of focus. These statements will be published along with other election materials. To view the board application and to learn more about board service, visit kica.us/about/board. The application deadline for all candidates is Tuesday, Oct. 17, 2017. For specific filing details or to obtain application materials and assistance with completing the process, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Diverse board leadership is vital to the continued success of our Kiawah community, and the board thanks you for your interest in making an impact on the future of the island.
KICA Nominating Committee
Lynn Morgenstern, Chair
KICA has been presented with a unique opportunity to gain important land, for both KICA and the Kiawah Conservancy, at no cost, in an exchange with Kiawah Partners.
Such an exchange requires a vote of the membership at a meeting, which KICA will hold on Friday, Sept. 22, 2017, at 3 p.m. at the Sandcastle.
Information and ballot packets were mailed from Vote-Now by USPS on Aug. 14 to all primary members. Vote-Now is KICA's independent voting service which has conducted our annual meeting votes the past several years.
On Aug. 15, Vote-Now also emailed primary members who have a valid email address on file, with specifics about the proposal and information on how to vote, including registration codes. If you are a primary member, have a valid email address on file and did not receive the email, please first check your spam folder for an email from Vote-Now.
When you receive your information, you may vote online, by phone, or live or by proxy at the special meeting if you have not previously voted. Because quorum is required to conduct the vote, online voting is preferred and encouraged.
Please note you cannot vote until you receive either the email or the USPS packet from Vote-Now, since you will need your personalized voting codes. However, you can review the materials online at kica.us/parceltrade.
After you have received and reviewed the materials, please contact KICA with questions. Voting will be open until 5 p.m. on Sept 13.
Primary members are the designated members who receive votes when a property is owned by more than one person. Non-primary members may receive informational emails from KICA but will not receive emails from Vote-Now or a ballot package by mail. If you are the primary member of a property and haven't received your email by Aug. 15, contact Holly Newman at email@example.com.
Monday, Aug. 21 | Sandcastle | 1 - 4 p.m.
In the dark about where to watch the upcoming total solar eclipse? Come out to the Sandcastle for an Eclipse Viewing Party.
This fun gathering will be jointly hosted by the Kiawah Conservancy and KICA. In compliance with the fire code, only 180 people can be upstairs at any one time. The conservancy will monitor this number so everyone has the opportunity to have cookies and lemonade while enjoying the air conditioning. The real party will be in the sky outside. We encourage you to bring a chair or blanket to witness the eclipse outdoors.
We are expecting a very large crowd to enjoy this once in a lifetime event.
Please plan to be at the Sandcastle by at least 2 p.m. Members are encouraged to walk, ride bikes or carpool. Those who drive are asked to drop their passengers off at the Sandcastle and park in the overflow lot, just before Freshfields Village on the left as you exit the island. KICA shuttles will run from 12 - 4 p.m.
The Castle Grille will offer a buffet only, featuring housemade pulled pork sliders, crispy fried chicken tenders, crab cakes, as well as delicious sides and kitschy eclipse treats - all for $15 plus tax and gratuity ($10 for kids under 10). Beer, wine and the signature eclipse cocktail will be available for purchase. The Sandbar will be serving its menu of specialty cocktails, frozen daiquiris and more! Buffet will be open from 11:30 a.m. - 3 p.m.
Complimentary eclipse viewing glasses will be available, while supplies last. There will be live streaming of the NASA EDGE Megacast, (depending on availability of internet service to the island) which will track the eclipse as it moves across the country. Games poolside.
If you see vehicles shining lights into ponds around the island over the next two nights, don't be alarmed! On Monday, July 24 and Tuesday, July 25 from 9 p.m. - 12 a.m., Town of Kiawah Island and KICA biologists will be performing alligator spotlight surveys. Members may notice town or KICA vehicles behind their homes shining spotlights into the ponds during these hours. During these surveys, biologists shine spotlights into Kiawah ponds. The light reflects off of alligators' eyes, giving the biologists a count of the approximate number of alligators in each pond.
In this issue, discover how the shape of the beach impacts boardwalk design, get an update on the planned Sandcastle renovations, learn about KICA's new debt policy and how you can provide input, get details on a proposed bill that will allow community associations to receive FEMA aid, and more.
If another hurricane strikes South Carolina, Rep. Mark Sanford wants residents in private communities and neighborhoods with homeowners associations to be eligible for help cleaning up debris.
Congressman Sanford introduced a bill in early July - the Disaster Assistance Equity Act - that would allow common interest communities - neighborhoods, condominium complexes, and cooperatives that share amenities and infrastructure typically owned by an homeowners association (HOA) - to receive Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) aid following a natural disaster.
“I find it strange that FEMA treats the 70 million Americans who live in common interest communities differently than it does those who live in other types of communities,” said Congressman Sanford. “In my experience, storms don’t discriminate between different kinds of communities. As such, it seems to me that FEMA should treat them all equally when it comes to the assistance available in the wake of a disaster. The simple aim of the bill is to treat taxpayers the same.”
Under current guidelines, Kiawah, like other HOA’s throughout the country, is not eligible for FEMA assistance following a natural disaster (i.e. hurricane, fire, earthquake, etc.). KICA COO Jimmy Bailey believes this should change and supports this proposed bill as a step in the right direction.
"Residents in private communities or neighborhoods with homeowners associations are citizens who pay the same federal taxes as everyone else. This is an issue of equity."
Sanford’s bill is cosponsored by a bipartisan group of New York congressmen: Democrats Jerry Nadler and Eliot Engel, and Republicans Peter King and Lee Zeldin.
The Disaster Assistance Equity Act has been referred to the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure for discussion and a recommendation.
"I urge association members around the country to contact their elected officials expressing their support of this bill," said Bailey. "We were lucky that Hurricane Matthew resulted in only a modest supplemental assessment for clean-up and repair, but a bigger storm could create a huge financial burden. Fixing this flaw in the current guidelines would prevent that from happening."
KICA operates under a Policy Governance Model, which is critical for a community that has a constantly rotating, volunteer board. Policy Governance is intended to provide the board, staff and community clear understanding of who does what, along with philosophical continuity from one board to the next. Any board can change a policy, but it can’t ignore an existing policy. With effective policies in place, all stakeholders should know what to expect, unless a policy is changed. Thus, to change direction, a majority of board members must vote to rescind the existing policy.
Over the last few months, the Finance Committee and the Board of Directors have discussed the creation of a Debt Policy. As the association doesn't currently have such a policy, the board wants to formalize its debt philosophy so the community will know what to expect if the association ever considers borrowing to fund expenditures. After several iterations, a conceptual policy was approved by the board as presented below (along with a brief explanation of financial terms, as well as some of the beliefs and assumptions that were considered during policy development). However, before final adoption, community input is being sought on the substance of the policy, and can be shared by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org by Sept. 16. A report on feedback will be shared at the regularly scheduled Sept. 11 board meeting.
KICA’s debt policy will comply with the following principles:
- KICA may use debt for four main purposes: (i) to fund seasonal cash flow needs; (ii) to fund projects that KICA fully insures against natural disasters; (iii) to fund projects that cannot be insured against natural disasters: (iv) uninsured cleanup and major repairs and replacements following a natural disaster.
- Type (i) loans must be repaid within one year; type (ii) loans must be repaid in equal installments over the shorter of the useful life of the project or 15 years; type (iii) and type (iv) loans must be repaid in equal installments over no more than five years.
- Before drawing down any type (ii), (iii) and (iv) loans, the COO must provide the board a schedule which includes the source of funds for repayment, showing that sufficient funds will be available from this source to repay the loans as required by the repayment schedule.
- Type (i) loans may be executed without notifying the members, but any type (ii), (iii) or (iv) loan will require an advance communication to all members, including the purpose, the amount, the funding source, the key terms, the primary sources of funds for repayment, and the repayment schedule.
- With the exception of unplanned borrowings for type (iv) loans, the maximum outstanding total debt will not exceed the prior year’s revenue derived from Annual Assessments.
Type (i) loans are to cover needs related to seasonal spending and income patterns. This type of need could occur because most revenue comes all at once when annual dues are paid, while many expenses are spread evenly through the year, and others may come in large, sometimes unpredictable chunks at different points during the year.
KICA can obtain cost effective insurance for some assets, like buildings, but cannot for other assets, like beach boardwalks or docks at Rhett's Bluff. If we borrow money to pay for uninsurable assets (type iii loans), it is important to repay these loans relatively quickly, to limit the risk of having to borrow to replace the asset while the original loan remains outstanding. Repayment for loans for insurable assets (type ii loans) can be stretched longer. This is because the cost of storm damage would be covered by insurance, thus we would never have the situation where the debt exceeded the value of the asset.
If a major storm does serious damage to KICA’s uninsured assets (roads, bike paths, docks, boardwalks, etc.) we need to be able to borrow money to replace the assets - type (iv) loans. The amount of these loans should not be limited, as we need to have flexibility to replace whatever is damaged. However, these loans must be repaid relatively quickly, as another storm could damage these assets. The goal of these loans is to spread the cost of a storm over a few years, if the board decides this is better than an assessment to cover the damage all in one year.
The debt principles are geared to provide KICA with the tools to fund its operations and projects, while maintaining sufficient borrowing capacity to fund uninsured storm damage, and provide reasonable borrowing limitations and accountability to members.
KICA has a $2.5 million line of credit to provide liquidity if needed, though it has never been advanced.
The board’s borrowing authority is limited only by the policies of organizations that would consider making loans to KICA. This limitation is generally a function of excess cash generated by KICA after collecting current revenues and covering current costs. Based on 2017 annual cash flows, KICA’s current borrowing capacity is probably less than $5 million.
KICA can increase its borrowing capacity without a member vote by increasing the annual KICA assessments to the maximum available under our existing restrictions. This would currently deliver about $300/year per KICA member (approximately $1.25 million/year) adding almost $9 million to our borrowing capacity.
Borrowing capacity can be increased further if members vote to allow a dues increase beyond the current maximum. For example, the board could generate approximately $30 million of total borrowing capacity if members voted to allow an additional $1,000/year in KICA annual assessment.
KICA’s debt capacity is limited by its cash flow, which is limited by its ability to raise annual fees more than about $300 more per year without a member vote. Because Kiawah is a barrier island with the constant risk of uninsured storm damage, we remain at risk of an unexpected funding need that exceeds our ability to fund via a one-time assessment of members. It is important to limit borrowings to provide sufficient unused borrowing capacity for storm damage. This will allow us to borrow to fund the uninsured repair and replacement costs and allow us to collect from homeowners over several years to minimize the burden to our members.
Loggerhead sea turtle nesting season is in full swing. Nesting activity typically begins in mid-May, and female turtles will continue coming ashore to nest until August. Nests will begin hatching in July and finish by October.
During nesting season, it’s important that we do all we can to protect this threatened species from any further perils. To avoid unintentional harm to these beautiful creatures, follow these tips during nesting season:
-If your property is visible from the beach, turn out all exterior lights (flood and deck) from dusk to dawn.
-If any interior lights are visible from the beach or cast light on the beach, close blinds or drapes at 9 p.m. or turn them off.
-Flashlights should not be used on the beach at night during nesting season. Do not carry flashlights or play flashlight tag on the beach.
-Fill in large holes dug on the beach at the end of the day, as adults and hatchling sea turtles can become trapped in them.
-Observe sea turtles quietly from a distance - never disturb a nesting sea turtle or hatchlings.
-Do not shine lights on a sea turtle, including cell phones and flash photography.
Help keep Kiawah special and our turtles safe by following these guidelines or sharing them with family, friends and vacation rental guests. Learn more about Kiawah’s Loggerhead population.
Start your Independence Day off right with live music by John Cusatis, food, fun and more at the Sandcastle.
The Castle Grille will be offering a full buffet from 11:30 a.m. - 4 p.m. The menu will offer BBQ pulled pork, burgers and hotdogs, mac n cheese, corn salad, coleslaw, watermelon, dessert, tea and lemonade. Cost will be $19.95 per adult and $10 for kids (10 and under). A 20% gratuity will be added.
Two bars will be serving delicious frozen drinks, cold beer and Sandbar signature cocktails.
A kids parade at 2 p.m. and other activities will make it a great time for the whole family.
Afterward, visit the Kiawah Island Golf Resort's annual Independence Festival in Night Heron Park, complete with fireworks. View the July Issue of Digest for a look at Independence Day events around the island.
This issue features an early look at potential future improvements for the Kiawah Island Golf Resort, an update on over $60,000 in donations recently distributed by the Kiawah Cares Foundation, information on how you can prepare for hurricane season, and details on all of the exciting events happening around Kiawah for the Fourth of July.
This issue features a look at preliminary renovation plans for the Sandcastle Community Center. Also included: an update on the declaratory judgement action for Rhett's Bluff, details on live streaming for KICA meetings, a look at the Kiawah Cares volunteer of the year, tips for crabbing and fishing on the island, and more.
The member forum survey results are in! View the results and responses from KICA members.
Thank you for your participation. The information gathered will be very helpful in making the next steps in member-to-member communication.
At the May 1 KICA Board of Directors meeting, the community was invited to view a presentation from the Sandcastle planning team on options to renovate and improve this important community asset. View a PDF of this presentation.
For questions or comments, email email@example.com.
The May 2017 eDigest is Now Available!
In this issue you can learn about future planned improvements for the Sandcastle Community Center, find out what you need to know about alligator safety on Kiawah, learn how you can stay connected with the island, and more.
RB Survey results are in! View the results at kica.us/rhetts-bluff-survey-
In addition to the results, many property owner comments were made. These are being reviewed. Thank you for your participation. The information gathered will be very helpful in planning the reconstruction of this amenity.
Last month, KICA announced its commitment to providing an unfiltered member forum for information sharing, discussion and general announcements. Two options (described briefly below) are being reviewed as potential solutions, and KICA would like your input. The options being considered are:
- A listserv, like the iKiawah list or an unfiltered version of the KICAlist
- A third-party product, such as Nextdoor or Front Porch Forum
The KICA Board of Directors recently asked staff to begin work on plans to upgrade the Sandcastle. The Sandcastle facility is the primary amenity available to all KICA members. The 21-year-old community center has received only minor investments over that period, while the number of KICA properties has grown by about 10% and usage data shows an increase in the number of members using the facilities at Sandcastle.
In 2015, members voted down a $245 increase in annual KICA fees, which was needed to support the financing for a proposed $8.6 Million upgrade to the Sandcastle. Although the vote to borrow significantly and invest in a very major upgrade at Sandcastle did not pass, it is clear that this facility requires attention beyond minor investments. KICA's acquisition of the Town Municipal Center building in October 2016 will provide additional meeting space and further flexibility to how the space at the Sandcastle can be used. Therefore, the board has authorized an investment to reinvigorate and improve the Sandcastle.
There will be a community presentation no later than June with the details to date. The level of investment will be less than half of what was previously proposed, and the board believes KICA can fund this through a combination of reducing current operating reserves and a minor financing. Since there will be no increase in annual dues, a member vote is not required. The goal is to have the project completed and in service by summer 2018.
The key components of this investment include:
- bringing the look and feel more in line with Kiawah standards
- operating within the current footprint of the building
- taking better advantage of the ocean views
- maintaining or increasing the space allocation for fitness
- constructing an adult pool (which may be done now or in the future, depending on whether it can be accomplished within the budgetary framework outlined).
We look forward to sharing the plans when they are available, and are open to input and suggestions from the community.
KICA would like to thank all members by inviting you to a poolside bash at the Sandcastle. Come Celebrate Kiawah with your neighbors Saturday, April 29 from 4-7 p.m
This event is free for all association members. Guests of members are welcome to attend at a cost of $25 per person.
The O'Kaysions will entertain the crowd with selections ranging from beach music to Top 40 favorites while Charleston Gourmet Catering serves a delicious selection of heavy hors d'oeuvres. Your very own KICA staff will even help you celebrate as they tend bar pouring beer and wine.
Donations for the Kiawah Cares Foundation will be accepted at check in.
Reservations required by April 24. RSVP to Sandcastle@kica.us or 843-768-3875
A new fractional ownership development on Kiawah by Timbers Resorts was recently announced. This development is the result of a sale from Kiawah Partners to Timbers Resorts.
The site is located near the entrance to Beachwalker County Park, outside the Kiawah Island Main Gate but still a part of the community association. The plan is to build three 4-story buildings, each with seven units, as well as a separate clubhouse (with an 800-square-foot fitness center and a concierge) and a swimming pool. There will be two 3-bedroom units on each of the three lower stories and one 4-bedroom penthouse on the top floor.
This development will share one characteristic with timeshares, which is that they have fractional ownership (Town of Kiawah Island ordinances do not permit timeshares but do allow fractional ownership). Unlike a timeshare, ownership in each unit is not spread across 52 owners, rather the 4-bedroom penthouse units will each have six owners and the 3-bedroom units will each have nine owners. As a result, there would be a total of 180 owners versus over 1,000 in a typical timeshare of this size. Also, unlike many timeshares, these are very high-end properties with a target price of $500,000 per owner for the 3-bedroom units and $1.2 million per owner for the penthouse.
In terms of the legal relationship between these properties and KICA, The Timbers group will pay the prevailing annual assessment to KICA for each of the 21 units (21 full fees). Like other multiple ownership properties on Kiawah, one owner (“the primary owner”) from each unit will have full access to KICA amenities, voting rights for the unit, etc. Also like any other multiple owner properties, secondary owners have the option of paying an additional amenity assessment for a Sandcastle membership. The Timbers group has indicated that they plan to provide these Sandcastle memberships for each of the secondary owners and incorporate the added cost in the annual ownership costs passed along to all 180 owners. This means KICA will receive 159 additional amenity assessments. The association, however, feels that Sandcastle usage by Timbers owners is likely to be low based on the fact that they will have their own fitness center and oceanfront pool.
From a Kiawah Island Club perspective, the development has been given the rights to 21 memberships. The current plan will be to offer these first to each of the 18 penthouse buyers. The remaining three memberships, plus any available if a penthouse buyer elects not to join the club, would be offered to the 3-bedroom unit buyers. KICA understands that the 21 owners electing to take one of these memberships will have identical rights and privileges as any other Kiawah Island Club member.
For more information on Timbers Resorts, visit timbersresorts.com.
The April 2017 eDigest is Now Available!
This issue features special messages from KICA's Chair Dave Singer and COO Jimmy Bailey, an update on the Kiawah Island Utility rate settlement, a look at KICA finances and more.
Beginning on March 20, weather permitting, and continuing for approximately three weeks, an asphalt rejuvenation project will be underway on one-third of Kiawah Island’s roads, including the Kiawah Island Parkway. The classic way to repair roads is to “mill and replace,” by removing the top layer of asphalt and applying a fresh layer of asphalt. KICA typically spends $300,000 annually on mill and replace repair to approximately ½-1 mile stretch of roadway. In changing to a road rejuvenation solution, KICA will be able to work on approximately 20 miles of roads for the same annual expenditure.
KICA’s contractor, Total Asphalt, will be applying a restorative liquid to the asphalt surfaces. This liquid penetrates the asphalt binder, thereby restoring its elasticity and binding capabilities. The coal tar component of the rejuvenator will also form a surface barrier to prevent water infiltration to the base of the road, as well as fill in minor road cracking. With this treatment, roads should last indefinitely. Road rejuvenation has the potential for significant cost savings for KICA. A similar technique is currently being used by the South Carolina Department of Transportation and Charleston County. It should not be confused with a pavement sealer, which is not a successful technique for roadways.
Please Note: Sand on the roadway is intentional. It is placed on top of the rejuvenated road surface to stop tracking of the product and lessen the time the road needs to be closed.
Total Asphalt will be working on most roads on the front side of the island, as well as the initial section of Surfsong Road and its side streets. While the contractor is working on the roadway, there will be disruptions to the neighborhood, including traffic delays, one lane traffic, reduced services for trash and recycling, and restrictions for contractors. Traffic flaggers will be on-hand to assist traffic, as necessary.
Sections of roads that have been rejuvenated will be closed for 24 hours to 4-wheel vehicles, as the material is “tacky” and could be spread to other areas, such as concrete curbing and driveways. There will be longer restrictions on 6-wheel (or larger) vehicles. KICA will make every effort to keep disruptions to a minimum and to the dates specified. Members on impacted roads will be emailed during the week prior, so members will know what to expect. Please take the time to notify any guests you may have or any regularly scheduled contractors.
The week of Monday, March 20 – Saturday, March 25, the contractor will be working on the following roads. Surfsong Road will be closed to through traffic from Wednesday, March 22 – Friday, March 24 from Governors Drive to Ocean Green Drive.
Angler Hall Arrowhead Hall
Atlantic Beach Court Bank Swallow Lane
Baldpate Court Bulrush Lane
Cordgrass Court Doral Open
Glen Eagle Court Green Dolphin Way
Green Winged Teal Road Masters Court
Muirfield Lane Ocean Green Drive
Sea Forest Drive Sea Marsh Road
Summer Duck Way Surfsong Road
Turtle Beach Lane Winged Foot Court
Complete list of roads that will be rejuvenated throughout the project and approximate dates:
If you have additional questions or if you have special needs which need to be considered, contact the KICA project managers below.
Director of Major Repairs
843-768-2315 office, 843-708-3609 cell
843-768-2315 office, 843-412-3063 cell
The Town of Kiawah Island and the Kiawah Island Community Association are pleased to inform Kiawah's residents and property owners that they have reached a tentative agreement with the Kiawah Island Utility, Inc (KIU). and the South Carolina Office of Regulatory Staff on a proposed rate adjustment for water and sewer service. The settlement will be submitted to the South Carolina Public Service Commission for approval on March 21, 2017.
In late 2016, the utility filed for a rate adjustment that included a 25.6% increase to water and sewer rates. Their proposed increase was intended to reflect their increased costs since their last rate adjustment in 2012, and to recover the significant costs associated with the completion of a new water line connecting the island to the utility's supplier on Johns Island. Both the town and the community association filed to intervene in the case, concerned about the size of the increase and its impact on property owners.
If ultimately approved, the agreement calls for a 14.6% adjustment to water and sewer rates, significantly lower than the 25.6% requested by KIU. This agreement and the new rates require and are pending final approval by the South Carolina Public Services Commission
According to Kiawah's mayor, Craig Weaver, "We think this adjustment reflects an equitable agreement for both the utility and Kiawah's property owners. The utility was urged several years ago to make this investment in a new water line to ensure that residents and businesses had reliable and uninterrupted service. At the same time, it is important that KIU maintain an operating and cost structure that provides residents and businesses on Kiawah with competitive rates and limits the need for rate increases. This agreement is a good example of the benefit of the town and community association working closely together on concerns important to the community."
Kiawah Island Utility, Inc. is a private company and is the sole provider of water and sewer services to Kiawah Island. Originally owned and operated by Kiawah Development Partners, the company was sold to and is a wholly owned subsidiary of Southwest Water Company, headquartered in Sugar Land, TX. Further information will be provided by KIU directly to their customers after a final ruling on the proposed agreement by the South Carolina PSC later this month.
At the March 6 KICA board meeting, Security Director Tony Elder gave an update on current and planned enhancements to association security. These enhancements include new uniforms, new training requirements, updates at the main gate, a new communication system and more.
An in-depth interview with Tony that includes a look at his background, his plans for security, and more information on some of these enhancements, was also recently published in the March issue of Digest.
For other information on KICA Security, visit kica.us/security.
Thank you to all who voted in the 2017 Kiawah Island Community Association Election. You have elected Cathy Pumphrey and Ben Cheatham to three year terms on the KICA Board of Directors. They replace Marilyn Olson and John Connolly, whose terms ended at the Annual Meeting on March 3.
The proposed covenant change to allow KICA additional authority regarding the enforcement of covenants was supported with nearly 80% of voters approving the recommendation, well over the 75% majority needed to pass. However, a covenant change has a larger quorum requirement than a director election. Unfortunately only 56.3% quorum was reached and 60% was needed to pass the amendment.
Voting closed on Friday, Feb. 24 at 5 p.m. and was tabulated by Vote-Now.com. View a recording and materials from Friday's annual meeting on kica.us/vote after Tuesday, March 7.
This issue features a look at the rare Marsh Tacky horse, star of the Kiawah Cup Island Beach Race. Other articles include details on KICA's new boardwalk repair policy, insight into an innovating pipe repair technique that is saving KICA time and money, a peak at the Town of Kiawah Island's new website, and more
During Hurricane Matthew, KICA received damage to 23 of its 25 boardwalks. Our general maintenance team was able to get some of these boardwalks re-opened with minor repairs. The timeline for boardwalks requiring extensive repairs is somewhat longer, though all involved have been extremely cooperative in order to expedite this important work.
KICA uses a consulting structural engineer to ensure what we build is safe and will withstand many years of “normal” wear and tear. Once that work is complete, it then goes through the approval process with the Architectural Review Board (ARB) and the Town of Kiawah Island (TOKI). This ensures TOKI’s ordinances are followed, as well as the regulations imposed by the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control’s Office of Ocean and Coastal Resource Management (SC DHEC-OCRM).
We initially placed the priority on boardwalks in the area of Eugenia Avenue to Windswept, as this was an area where KICA had no open boardwalks.
- As of Feb. 15, KICA has completed construction on boardwalks 8A, 9, 12, 13, 14, 15 and 16.
- We just received approvals on 7, 10, 29, 31 and 33, and are proceeding to contract shortly.
- Our other boardwalks remain in design.
KICA has been and will continue to send weekly updates on its boardwalk repairs in the Thursday email update to the membership. (Access the Beach With Safety)
Policies and Regulations
In building the beach boardwalks, KICA adheres to design regulations specified by the ARB, TOKI and SC DHEC-OCRM. To comply with these regulations, boardwalks must meet the beach perpendicular to the shore and within 10 feet of the primary dune. In the five years preceding the storm, we had rebuilt 22 of our boardwalks (approx. $1 million) and were fortunate that significant accretion of the beach resulted in a dune profile suitable for ramps in most locations. Unfortunately, those dunes are gone – along with the bulk of the previous five years’ investment. This loss has necessitated we use steps as a repair solution in many locations.
We are not permitted, under normal regulations, to run a boardwalk parallel to the shore and dune line, and must seek an exception for this type of construction. Our preference is to build ramps perpendicular to the shore where the dune profile accommodates this type of design; however, Hurricane Matthew has caused us to consider new guidelines that provide an objective way to determine where exceptions should be considered.
One of those new guidelines considers the density of property located near a boardwalk. Areas where larger than average numbers of KICA member properties are concentrated in close proximity will be given extra consideration for ramps. This will result in our applying for ramps at boardwalks 8B, 22, and 27. As the map image below indicates, these are high density areas and we believe exceptions are warranted:
Dear fellow KICA members,
KICA has not been officially notified of a ruling in the Rhett's Bluff Declaratory Judgement Action, a lawsuit filed against several members of the community and a group they formed known as the Kiawah Boat Landing Preservation Committee. However, we've been advised by our attorney that a ruling is forthcoming, and that the opposing party will prevail. If this proves incorrect, we will notify the community.
The suit was originally filed by the board in office during the Fall of 2015, with the goal of providing future KICA boards, and the greater community, a clear understanding of how KICA's property at Rhett's Bluff could be used and developed. Unfortunately, the anticipated order does not make any specific judgement as to the allowable uses of the property, rather it is expected to say that the court cannot opine on KICA's rights and the wording in the relevant deed without an active proposal for usage and development. Therefore, the goal of the board that originally filed the suit cannot be achieved, and the community's rights regarding this property remain unclear.
This has been an emotionally charged issue among our members, and the current board believes it is in the community's best interest to move past this. We have unanimously chosen not to appeal this ruling or pursue additional legal action. Furthermore, the board is focused on how to best utilize the Sandcastle and is not considering any proposals for Rhett's Bluff that might cause this to re-emerge as a legal issue.
Chair, KICA Board of Directors
This issue takes an in-depth look at KICA Security Director Tony Elder, focusing on his past experience and his impact on Kiawah Island security. Other articles include details on the Kiawah Cup Island Beach Race (coming to Kiawah March 25), highlights from January's KICA board meeting, 2016 Kiawah Island real estate trends, and more.
Did you know you can pay your assessments online? KICA annual assessment statements were mailed in December, and payment can be securely processed by Payment Service Network (PSN). PSN is able to take payments for items such as assessments, shuttle services, Sandcastle fees, etc., with no additional fee.
The statement includes a 2016 additional Supplemental Hurricane Assessment of $250 (improved) or $125 (unimproved), as well as the standard 2017 Annual Assessment. Payments are due by Jan. 31, 2017.
In the required "Client ID" field, enter the "Customer ID" number (C-*****), which is located at the top right of your statement.
Kiawah faced extraordinary additional expense following Hurricane Matthew this fall. Kiawah was fortunate enough to be spared loss of life or serious injury. However, there was substantial tree damage and debris, along with total destruction of a number boardwalks and the Rhett's Bluff dock system. View the January 2017 issue of Digest for a look inside Hurricane Matthew's impact on Kiawah.
Repair costs, initially estimated between $2 million and $3 million, are projected at $1,363,510. At a special meeting on Tuesday, Dec. 20, the KICA Board of Directors voted to approve an additional 2016 Supplemental Assessment to recoup $1.1 million of Hurricane Matthew expenditures, while absorbing the remaining costs.
Assessment statements will be mailed to primary owners this week and include a complete analysis of the Hurricane Matthew Supplemental Assessment. To learn more about the Supplemental Assessment, view the information below:
This issue takes you inside Hurricane Matthew and its impact on Kiawah Island. Other articles include a message from Board Chair Bruce Stemerman, details about a major upcoming drainage project on the island, a look at coming events, and more.
KICA’s drainage system beneath the Cougar Point Golf Course is some of the oldest infrastructure on the island, having been installed by the Kuwaitis in the 1970s. It’s about to get an upgrade.
The infrastructure is an important part of the large Beachwalker drainage basin (West Beach, portions of East Beach and Settlement), which discharges to the Kiawah River at an outlet on Beachwalker Drive. This drainage basin encompasses 38 ponds. KICA will use the spin-casting technique to repair large pipes within the system. Spin-casting is the latest in culvert rehabilitation technology for medium- to large-diameter storm water infrastructure, using a structural mortar applied centrifugally to attain a uniform thickness around the interior of compromised pipes. This method achieves two important factors: it avoids costly and time-consuming excavation, and provides a long-term service life. Before employing this method, KICA engineers visited communities where it has been in use, and were impressed with what they saw. KICA will also spot-excavate ponds along the course to open drainage flow, as well as lower the overall pond levels in the drainage basin to facilitate the project.
The timing of this work was coordinated with the Kiawah Island Golf Resort, which closed Cougar Point for renovations just after Thanksgiving. With Gary Player consulting, course renovations will include re-grassing the greens, tees, and fairways with Paspalum (the same highly acclaimed salt-tolerant grass that the resort has on its other four golf courses); laser level all tee boxes including the practice range; rebuild all bunkers; update the irrigation throughout the golf course; and rebuild existing bulkheads. The course is slated to reopen in October 2017.
KICA’s $1.5 million drainage work began in early December when final DHEC and Army Corp of Engineers permits were secured, and is scheduled to be completed in May. When contractors are working in the area, members will see aqua dams put in place in the ponds, which will then be dewatered to complete the work. Christmas holidays aside, KICA’s work will occur during regular construction hours, and there will be some noise from pumps and vacuum trucks removing sediment from the pipes. (KIGR has a permit for Sunday work.) We appreciate your patience as this important work is underway.
Town of Kiawah Island staff conducted a GPS survey of the dune line before and after Hurricane Matthew. The pre-storm survey was conducted on Oct. 5 and the post-storm survey was conducted on Oct. 10. Surveys were conducted using a survey grade GPS with submeter accuracy. Overall, Kiawah's beach suffered extensive erosion but no homes were impacted by erosion. Beach walkovers sustained significant damage and almost all walkovers will require inspection and repairs. Kiawah's extensive dune system performed its role exactly as it should have. The role of dunes is to sacrifice themselves to protect inland areas. This is exactly what occurred. Beaches are extremely resilient and eroded sand will slowly make its way back up onto our beaches and dunes will begin to rebuild naturally.
While many of our members have made their way to the island, we understand that most do not call Kiawah their home year-round and are anxious to have a better sense of what the island looks like, how recovery is going, and most importantly how your property fared.
We can't slow recovery efforts to do a detailed survey or photograph each individual property, but the Town of Kiawah Building Department has conducted what is known as a "windshield survey" of every home on the island. The purpose of this survey is to look for obvious property damage that can be seen from the vehicle. This process wrapped up yesterday, and out of all the homes on the island, they identified just four with the possibility of minor damage (two with potential flooding, one with a tree leaning on the home and one with tree damage to the front stairs). While these are just drive-by surveys, it appears our members' homes have fared very well. Of the large trees that fell, it's amazing how many fell away from structures.
While structural damage appears limited, the island was littered with debris. KICA crews, along with those from the town and the other major entities, have been busily working since the moment we could return. The island is already starting to look like it always did. In fact, as you drive through the main gate, other than a few debris piles along the side of the road, it's hard to tell that we even had bad weather. Our goal is to have the entire island looking like that as quickly as possible.
As previously reported, our beach did take a significant hit with the loss of many boardwalks. The dunes were impacted, but the reality is that they did their job as a natural shock absorber for storm surge. Right now, KICA has reopened only three of its 25 boardwalks and we, along with the town and others, are evaluating the best short- and long-term solutions for beach access. KICA also lost the majority of its dock system at Rhett's Bluff, and it appears some of the private docks along the river had damage as well.
All in all, we consider ourselves lucky that the brunt of the storm came at low tide and the wind damage was minimal. One member commented yesterday that his house was fine but his landscaper was going to make some money. That's a pretty fair assessment of what we've seen around the island. That said, all members should try to visit their property for a detailed inspection. If you can't get here, we encourage you to have a friend, neighbor or property manager do it for you.
The KICA Board has been provided updates multiple times per day, starting several days in advance of the storm and continuing to this point. They will meettomorrow to discuss recovery progress and we'll continue to update you as well. Listed below are some bulleted updates on recovery operations.
Finally, I'd like to salute the great work being done by "Team Kiawah." All involved in this effort have worked together toward a common goal of getting back to normal as quickly as possible. The work has not been easy, and it will continue for quite a while, but the collaboration has been outstanding.
Jimmy Bailey, Jr.
Chief Operating Officer
- Power is on to all areas with the exception of Green Dolphin Way, Sea Forest Drive, and the Settlement. KICA is in touch with Berkeley Electric to try and determine the issue.
- KICA has been advised that Main Road is open for inbound traffic only until 4 p.m. today; both lanes will be closed at 4 p.m.
- All streets are accessible; however, not all are clear. At least one lane is open on all roads. Be cautious.
- Leisure trails remain closed due to downed trees and heavy debris.
Boardwalks remain closed except for BW 1 (Duneside), BW 8A (Sandcastle Pool) and 28 (Turtle Beach Lane). Do not go around barricades.
- KICA and the Town of Kiawah have large numbers of personnel and contractors on the island, some working in areas you would not expect. For their safety and yours, please drive slowly and with caution.
- Kiawah Island Utility is asking residents to continue to limit wastewater generation until all their wastewater stations are operational. They are hopeful to have this complete tomorrow.
- The Town of Kiawah Island has published its Storm Debris Removal Schedule as well as its previously published schedule for trash and recycling. View the updated schedule here.
- The Kiawah Island Golf Resort plans to open the following facilities on normal schedules as follows:
Wednesday, Oct. 12 - Southern Kitchen, Tomasso, Cherrywood BBQ, Ryder Cup Bar
Thursday, Oct. 13 - The Atlantic Room
Friday, Oct. 14 - golf courses, recreation, tennis, and the Sanctuary
This issue features the history of the Carolina Marsh Tacky - the featured horse for the 2016 Kiawah Cup; details on the upcoming Dogtoberfest: Dogs, Dine and Wine Pet Expo; history of KICA's Our World lecture series, key dates for the 2017 Annual Meeting, the schedule for October's Sunset Music on the Bluff, and much more!
The September Digest is now available online!
This issue features a message from KICA Board Chair Bruce Stemerman about the Maze of K's, details on ticket options for the upcoming Kiawah Cup Island Beach Race, and update on the association's finances, and much more.
The Kiawah-Seabrook Exchange Club (KSEC) mailed its 2016-2017 Handbook in June to property owners on both islands. While the Handbook is a popular community reference, its primary reason for publication is to help KSEC to provide grants to local charities. Over the past several years, KSEC has provided grants totaling $100,000 annually to child abuse prevention organizations, community service programs (including housing, medical and hunger relief projects), youth and education (local schools and scholarships), Americanism (the flags displayed on patriotic holidays) and for the highly-regarded Angel Oak Award. The 2015-2016 Grants are listed on page 238 of the new handbook.
Even if you aren’t a member of the KSEC, you can help this project continue to support these worthy causes. Please remember to tell the advertisers you saw their ad and thank them for advertising. If you buy services or products from businesses that are not advertising in the Handbook, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with the business name and a volunteer salesperson will contact them. If your business is not in the handbook, please consider placing an ad in next year’s edition.
Handbooks are also available for pick up during business hours at the Town Municipal Center. Please review your listing for accuracy. If you are a new property owner or want to correct your current listing for the next publication, please visit www.ks-exchangeclub.com or email email@example.com.
The August Digest is now available online! This issue features details on the exciting return of the Kiawah Cup this fall, plans for a new park and other landscape improvements on Flyway Drive, update on extensive renovations taking place at Turtle Point Golf Course, tips for fishing and crabbing on Kiawah, and much more.
Two exciting new projects are beginning to come together on Flyway Drive. Surfsong Park (view PDF here) is a small section of land, located at the corner of Flyway Drive and Surfsong Road across from 65 Surfsong Road, that will be developed into a passive park. This relaxing area will be the perfect respite for walkers or bikers in the area. The park will include benches, a water fountain with pet fountain and a butterfly garden. Work will begin shortly and is expected to be finished in early August.
The second project is an extension of the Flyway Drive landscape renovations started in 2015. The project area will run from Surfsong Road to the entrance of Osprey Beach. KICA will be working within its road rights-of-way.
The project began the last week in June with boring under the road for irrigation. On July 5, members will begin to see irrigation go in.
These landscape renovations are much smaller in scope than the first phase and are expected to be completed by July 31.
This issue features a look at everything going on around Kiawah for the Fourth of July, an update on future plans to revitalize the Sandcastle Community Center, information to help you prepare for Hurricane Season 2016, and more.
When you think of summers in the Lowcountry, many things come to mind - warmer weather, trips to the beach, and even cold tropical drinks. Unfortunately the warmer weather also brings in some less desirable elements, including one of our more notorious pests, mosquitoes. After historic rains and floods that left the ground saturated in many areas, followed by a mild winter, the Lowcountry is preparing for an early and aggressive onset of mosquito season.
There are 61 species of mosquitoes that reside in South Carolina. The freshwater, backyard mosquitoes remain within 100 yards of their birthplace and fly only during the day. However, salt marsh mosquitoes, which are common in the Lowcountry, can travel as far as 100 miles and are more aggressive biters.
With Kiawah Island’s marsh habitats, mosquitoes can be an issue. However, KICA and Charleston County both employ a variety of methods to keep these populations under control. The county employs both aerial spraying (via plane and/or helicopter) and ground control methods throughout the Charleston area to combat mosquitoes (visit charlestoncounty.org to view a treatment schedule). Led by the Lakes Management team, KICA provides all ground control treatment on Kiawah.
“We have the island divided up into 31 mosquito zones,” said KICA Lakes Supervisor Matt Hill. We use similar equipment to what Charleston County uses to treat both adult and larval stage mosquitoes throughout the island.”
KICA staff treat Kiawah’s storm drains (curb inlets, road drains, golf course drains, etc.) with a larvicide, which is a growth inhibitor that prevents larval stage mosquitoes from growing into biting adults. This larvicide treatment lasts approximately five months. In addition, smaller larvicide tablets can be used to treat persistent standing water due to heavy or frequent rainfall. Staff members also perform weekly mosquito counts to determine if spraying for adult mosquitoes is needed in a specific zone. If spraying is needed, they use a truck-mounted sprayer to treat these areas. Spraying is done overnight (typically between the hours of 4-6 a.m.) to maximize safety and effectiveness
“Mosquito control is a delicate balance of trying to make humans comfortable while not adversely impacting the surrounding environment,” said Hill. “By using specific spraying methods, scheduling and coordination, we try to maintain that balance.”
Hill cautions that though KICA and the county perform treatments, property owners can help control the mosquito population as well.
“The main thing members can do is ensure that there is no standing water around their property,” said Hill. “Things like buckets, bird baths, etc. that hold standing water are prime breeding grounds for these pests.”
Hill advises that if you are experiencing mosquito problems at your property, contact the KICA Lakes Department and they will come and treat if needed. To reach KICA Lakes, call 843-768-2315 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Angel Oak students visited Kiawah Island on Thursday, May 19 for Kiawah Cares annual Shore Thing: Youth Beach Day. The kids, all mentored by Kiawah Island property owners in the Reading Partners program, learned about wildlife from KICA biologists and even got to see a bobcat roaming through Night Heron Park. Then they spent some quality time at the beach.
Read about this unique event on the Post and Courier's education page.
This issue features details on KICA's new Security and Finance directors, tips for alligator safety on Kiawah, information on how you can help DHEC with a study on King Tides, and much more.
This spring, one of KICA's senior management positions opened as Director of Finance Deborah Retalis accepted another opportunity. Interest in the position was strong and, after weeks of consideration, Jane Ovenden, a CPA with 30 years in public accounting, has been hired as the association's new director of finance. She will join KICA on June 6.
Since 2012, Ovenden has served as senior director of operations with the Spartanburg (SC) Regional Healthcare System Foundation. In this position, she oversaw financial reporting and audits, operating budget, treasury functions and donor-related reporting for the foundation, which had net assets in excess of $40 million.
Prior to 2012, she worked as controller for the Spartanburg Humane Society, and as a tax manager for Dixon Hughes. She is well-versed in fund accounting and Financial Edge, both of which are employed by KICA.
Ovenden, a Clemson native, is a summa cum laude and Phi Betta Kappa graduate of Wofford College, with a double major in accounting and humanities. She is a member of AICPA and the SCACPA. Her nonprofit experience includes serving as controller for the Spartanburg Humane Society.
"Finance is a vital function to KICA," said COO Jimmy Bailey. "We are excited to welcome such a highly qualified individual to the KICA team."
With the retirement of long-time Security Director Joe Croughwell, KICA was left with very big shoes to fill. Interest in the position was strong, with more than a hundred resumes submitted. After weeks of considering qualifications, reviewing resumes and interviewing candidates, KICA has selected Tony Elder as its new security director.
Elder, a native of Virginia Beach, will join KICA on May 16. He brings over 30 years of law enforcement experience, most recently as deputy chief of police and bureau commander for operations for the Charleston Police Department (CPD), in command of 360 law enforcement officers.
Prior to joining the CPD in 2007, Elder spent 22 years with the Virginia Beach Police in roles of increasing responsibility. He has also served as an adjunct faculty member for the Citadel and other institutes of higher learning.
Elder holds a master’s degree in criminal justice from Troy University, a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice with honors from Saint Leo University, and is a graduate of the Police Executive Research Forum’s Senior Management Institute for Police.
Elder’s performance at CPD and demonstrated ability to build relationships in the local law enforcement community were key attributes that led to his selection. Charleston County Sheriff Al Cannon, who worked with Elder on numerous occasions, praised the selection.
"When faced with the most challenging situations, Deputy Chief Elder's collaborative leadership style and intricate understanding of people and communities has consistently delivered the best possible outcomes. Throughout the Mother Emmanuel church tragedy, Tony was the quiet force who successfully worked throughout Charleston - with families, institutions and government leaders - to ensure the appropriate response, decorum and necessary levels of security were maintained throughout the difficult several-week period.
Tony's very strong relationships with SLED, Charleston and Berkeley counties, numerous other local agencies and the community have proven invaluable as we have come together to address local issues with regional solutions.
I look forward to continuing to work with Tony in his new position. Collaboration between the Charleston County Sheriff's Office, the Town of Kiawah Island, and Kiawah Island Community Association Security are critical in providing safety and security for the citizens and guests of Kiawah Island."
Alligators are a common sight on Kiawah Island and can be found in just about every pond on the island. Almost everyone who lives, works or visits our island has seen these animals. Now that spring is here, alligators have become much more active and visible and have resumed feeding after the cold winter months. While alligators can appear lethargic and docile, they are capable of great speed, power and agility, especially when pursuing prey.
In early April, an alligator on the western end of the island caught and killed a dog that had escaped from a nearby home. This unfortunate incident is a staunch reminder that alligators are potentially dangerous animals and should always be treated with respect. It is also a reminder to keep pets on a leash at all times on the island (as required by Town Ordinance) and to keep them away from ponds and pond edges.
In light of the recent incident, we ask that all island residents and visitors review and adhere to the following safety rules for alligators listed below. We have also included a short FAQ with answers to the most common questions regarding alligators on Kiawah Island.
Alligator Safety Rules
-Never approach an alligator. Maintain a distance of 60 feet from alligators unless on an elevated dock or boardwalk.
-Do not feed alligators.
-Do not poke, prod, throw things at or otherwise harass alligators.
-Do not throw fish scraps or bait into ponds when fishing or crabbing.
-Keep children and pets out of ponds and away from pond edges.
-Do not approach alligator nests or hatchlings. Female alligators are very vigilant and protective of their young.
-Do not retrieve golf balls that land in ponds or near an alligator; take a drop.
-Do not attempt to pick up or handle an alligator for any reason.
Frequently Asked Questions
How common are dog/alligator incidents on Kiawah Island?
Uncommon. Over the last 20 years, Kiawah has averaged about one incident every three years. Most incidents have occurred when dogs accidentally, or unknowingly, escaped from their owners and entered ponds or approached a pond edge.
How common are human/alligator incidents on Kiawah Island?
Alligators do not view people as prey and incidents are extremely rare. There have been two minor incidents on Kiawah Island in the last 40 years. Both of these incidents could have been easily avoided if safety rules had been followed. Statewide, there have been a number of documented incidents, but never a fatality.
How many alligators live on Kiawah Island?
Approximately 600 - 700 alligators live on Kiawah. Kiawah’s alligator population is allowed to fluctuate naturally and has remained stable over the last 10 years. It is safe to assume that there is at least one alligator, usually more, in every water body on the island.
What is a nuisance alligator?
A nuisance alligator is an individual alligator that has become a significant public safety risk. This typically occurs when an alligator has been fed and has lost its inherent fear of people. All reports of nuisance alligators are evaluated by island biologists. If the alligator meets the nuisance alligator criteria, it is captured and killed using "nuisance" tags issued by SCDNR. There is no other harvest or removal of alligators on Kiawah Island.
If an alligator approaches me while fishing or crabbing what should I do?
Use caution and remove your lines from the water. If an alligator is hooked on your line, cut the line immediately. Report the incident to the Town of Kiawah Island (843-768-9166) during normal business hours or to KICA Security (843-768-5566) at all other times.
Why are alligators important to Kiawah Island?
Alligators have been on earth for almost 100 million years and are a vital part of the delicate Kiawah Island ecosystem. Young alligators provide food for many species of birds and mammals, larger alligators help control populations of prey species, and abandoned “gator holes” or wallows provide critical freshwater habitat for countless species of animals. Their presence is an indicator of the health of the island’s lakes and ponds and the island itself.
This issue features a message from recently appointed KICA board chair Bruce Stemerman, an update on Kiawah Island Utility, information on KICA's mosquito control methods, a reminder of Kiawah's community standards, and more.
Kiawah Island Utility’s (KIU) parent company, KIU Holdings, was recently purchased by SouthWest Water Company, a nationwide water and wastewater utility. Established in 1925, SouthWest Water Company is a privately-owned American water company with resources that utilize local management and decision making to own, operate and manage regulated water and wastewater utility systems serving over 500,000 customers nationwide.
KIU will continue to provide the same high-quality water and wastewater services to its customers. Local management will remain in place, ensuring a seamless transition. KIU will be overseen by SouthWest Water Company and will continue to be regulated by the South Carolina Public Service Commission,.
KIU has cleared all hurdles and executed contracts with construction companies to install the new water supply line, providing a needed alternate water supply to the island. The new line will benefit the community in several ways, including redundancy for emergency supply.
RH Moore Company, Inc., in concert with the Mears Group, will install the pipe on the island. The route only impacts some locations on Marsh Island Drive and Sweet Gum, along with a short section of Governor’s Drive in that area. Construction should begin soon and be completed within 150 calendar days.
At its March 1 meeting, Kiawah’s Town Council voted unanimously to accept an offer by The Kiawah Island Community Association (KICA) to purchase the current Town Hall site for $1,575,000.00. Specific details, such as a closing date, will be negotiated by the two parties over the next several weeks. The existing facility was built by the Town in 1996 and the Community Association has leased and occupied half of the building for its administrative operations since early-1997.
In a joint statement, Mayor Charlie Lipuma and KICA Board Chair Dave Schoenholz hailed the agreement as a "win-win" for the community. Both KICA and the Town had the property independently appraised and over the past week representatives of the Town and KICA worked together with both appraisers to reconcile differences in various assumptions and to agree to a fair price.
KICA and the Town will continue to be neighbors at the Beachwalker facility until completion of a new Municipal Center on the Town’s Betsy Kerrison property in mid-2017. According to Schoenholz, "this will allow KICA ample time to solicit feedback on how the additional space can best be utilized for the community’s use. KICA does not plan a member assessment to pay for the property, which can be paid for with existing reserves, a mortgage or a combination of the two."
The Town intends to use the proceeds from this sale exclusively toward the construction of the new Municipal Center.
Both the Town and KICA look forward to providing updates to the community as they are available.
KICA encourages members to "Just Ask"
Kiawah can be a confusing place with different entities responsible for different things. Sometimes, you might not know who can best answer a question or help with a problem. KICA staff do their best to know what's on your mind, but when you have a question, it's best to Just Ask.
From now on, it will be easier than ever to find the answer to your question. If you're not sure who to contact, simply send an email to email@example.com. From there, your question, comment or concern will be directly routed to the correct person or department. Don't worry about who does what or where to send your question - Just Ask.
So, if you're on the driving range, at bridge club or enjoying happy hour and hear a Kiawah related question, encourage people to just ask. KICA is eager to help.
KICA is pleased to announce a restructured process and fee schedule for our members who enjoy boating. Effective immediately, the cost for boat launch access, which provides access decals for the Rhett's Bluff and Eagle Point boat launches, will be reduced from $300 per year to a one-time fee of $100.
Property owners will no longer need to renew annually and need only renew if they purchase a new boat. This is similar to how vehicle decal renewals work. The contractual process, and requirements to post decals, remains unchanged.
Current launch contract holders will receive a letter explaining the change, along with a $200 refund if already renewed for 2016. If you are an existing contract holder and have not yet paid, you may submit the $100 fee, either by check payable to KICA, 23 Beachwalker Drive, Kiawah Island, SC 29455, or online. Be sure to reference your Kiawah property and boat information. If you would like to secure launch access, you may download the 2016 application and return.
Those who boat infrequently may purchase daily launch tickets at the Sandcastle for $15 each.
Did you know KICA offers, at request only, the expertise of its irrigation technicians for basic backflow testing and repairs?
Backflow prevention devices are used to protect potable water supplies from contamination or pollution due to backflow. Kiawah Island Utility requires residential water systems be tested every two years to ensure that they are working properly.
Please note that this is a service offered on-demand by KICA. To receive a backflow inspection, you must contact KICA and schedule the service in advance.
Cost of Services
Request Backflow Certification Services
Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 843-768-9194 to schedule an appointment. Services will be billed to your existing KICA member account and invoiced to you.
Roads and transportation on the Sea Islands have become increasingly significant topics following several months of traffic woes and weather-related snarls. Residents have found themselves with few options that preserve the area's character while alleviating increases in traffic on the islands' many still-rural roads. On Monday, Nov. 6, concerned citizens had a chance to meet with representatives in order to discuss road improvements and growth.
Representatives from Berkley Electric Cooperative, the Charleston County Sheriff's Office and EMS, Durham Bus Services, South Carolina Department of Transportation, St. Johns Fire District and St. Johns Water Co. were in attendance, as well as County Councilman Joe Qualey and Town of Kiawah Island Mayor Charles Lipuma. No representative from the City of Charleston was present, though an invitation was extended.
Areas of particular concern were Maybank Highway and the Main Road/Savannah Highway intersection, along with the traffic effects of the replacement of the Burden Creek and Hoopstick Creek bridges.
Two plans were discussed for Maybank Highway, including widening from the Stono River to River Road and a pitchfork that aims to improve access to River Road in both directions. According to Charleston County Construction Project Manager Molly LeMin, widening to add an additional inbound lane from the Stono bridge should begin in approximately seven months. The scale of the project has been reduced in order to impact fewer trees in the process, with only four trees affected by the current plan instead of 50 in the SCDOT's plan.
The Maybank pitchfork plan (see above) is intended to reduce congestion at the River Road intersection by routing traffic to River Road via new access roads. The plan allows River Road traffic to bypass the Maybank Highway intersection. The land required for the northern pitchfork has been secured, while the southern pitchfork is being negotiated. Construction is not expected to begin for three to four years.
Intermediate improvements to Main Road were slated to finish Thanksgiving weekend, with the installation of a new drainage pipe and the addition of several inches of pavement to the road's surface. These improvements are intended to target flooding in the area. A flyover design with Savannah Highway flowing over Main Road, which would provide improved traffic flow, is reported to be in the planning phase. It would be three to four years before any construction could begin.
The Burden Creek and Hoopstick Creek bridges, which are considered functionally obsolete and structurally deficient, will be replaced in 2016. During the Burden Creek replacement, River Road will be closed in the immediate area. Attendees voiced alarm over the scheduled 65-day closure (June 11 to Aug. 14, 2016) and corresponding 18-mile detour. Many objected to the timing of the closure, which falls during hurricane season to avoid affecting schools. Officials do not have a contingency plan in place should Bohicket Road be closed during the Burden Creek construction.
The Hoopstick Creek Bridge is scheduled for replacement after the completion of the Burden Creek Bridge, likely starting in Sept. 2016. Bohicket Road will remain open during construction, as the bridge can be shifted. Unfortunately, due to the presence of a historic site and sensitive ecosystem, shifting is not an option for the Burden Creek Bridge.
The Johns Island Council and Concerned Citizens of the Sea Islands sponsored the meeting. Members interested in staying up-to-date on Sea Island roads are welcome to attend monthly meetings.
Johns Island Council |Berkeley Electric Cooperative| 3351 Maybank Hwy | First Thursdays | 7 p.m.
Concerned Citizens of the Sea Islands | Wesley United Methodist Church | 2718 River Rd | Third Mondays | 6:30 p.m.
Charleston County and the South Carolina Department of Transportation (SCDOT) began Main Road Improvements project yesterday. Citizens can expect to see nighttime lane closures during the two week operation, weather permitting. The purpose of the project is to improve travel at Main Road and U.S. 17 (Savannah Highway) and raise portions of Main Road to alleviate potential flooding. Nighttime lane closures on Main Road between the Limehouse Bridge and U.S. 17, will occur 9 p.m. to 6 a.m. beginning Sunday night Nov. 1. The lane closures are expected to last two weeks.
As of Nov. 3, project improvements unrelated to resurfacing have been postponed due to weather and are scheduled to resume the week of Nov. 9.
Project improvement includes:
The project is funded by the SCDOT and the Charleston County Transportation Sales Tax program. Anyone with questions about the project can call Charleston County's Transportation Development Department at (843)202-6140.
These updates are sent via email weekly and as needed to all property owners and provide news updates and event information for the coming week and beyond. Subscribe to these updates.
KIAWAH MOBILE APP
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KICA sends text alerts as necessary for very important news only, including severe weather, safety precautions, security alerts, etc. KICA text alerts are sent from 24587 (a mobile short code).
All members with a mobile phone number on file are automatically subscribed to these alerts. If you need to update or add your mobile number to our database, email email@example.com. If you wish to unsubscribe from this service, email firstname.lastname@example.org with your name and mobile number to be removed.
One of Kiawah’s main roadways is receiving a makeover. Flyway Drive is the focus of a major landscaping renewal that will take two years to complete.
Flyway Drive, located near the eastern end of the island, is an oft-used stretch of roadway that connects Governor’s Drive to Ocean Course Drive. In addition to providing access to a number of neighborhoods and homes, Flyway offers a more direct alternative to Governors Drive for travelers heading to the Ocean Course and surrounding area.
The renovation project will span two years and include new landscaping as well as extensive tree work for better safety and line of site. According to KICA Land and Lakes Management Director Dave Achey, Flyway Drive is the longest contiguous road KICA has renovated.
“We are using some new types of perennials in the plant beds, as well as a turfgrass component we haven’t used in several years,” said Achey. “We plan to include milkweed to create beds to attract Monarch butterflies.”
Preliminary tree work for the project began in January, while the bulk of the landscaping work for 2015 began earlier this summer.
This project is a continuation of KICA’s overall island revitalization and reinvestment program. For continuing updates on this and island projects, visit kica.us/projects.
One of Kiawah's best spots for wildlife viewing just got better. In order to improve the member experience, the walkway at KICA's Swamp Garden, a freshwater depression located next to Pond 32 near the end of Turtle Beach Lane (map), has been replaced with a wildlife viewing platform. This new area provides excellent views of the Swamp Garden while keeping members at a safe distance from alligators.
About the Swamp Garden
Most of the island's ponds are at least part salt water, however the Swamp Garden is one of the few completely fresh water locations on Kiawah, as its only source of water is rain. Since alligators do not have salt glands, they need access to fresh water, or water with very low salt counts, to help them regulate their body's salt content. More specifically, hatchlings and young alligators are not tolerant of salty waters and have to have fresh water to survive in the beginning. As such, this uncommon area of fresh water has become a very popular spot for alligators, particularly nesting mother alligators and their young.
The Kiawah Regime Council met on Friday, May 8. The meeting was very informative for all members of the community and covered topics such as: reinvestment lessons learned, fire safety, codes and insurance, and a real estate market update presented by Kiawah Island Real Estate President Chris Drury.
Do you stay in touch with friends and loved ones on Facebook? Why not?
Did you know you can pay your assessments online? KICA uses Payment Service Network (PSN) to securely process member payments, such as assessments, shuttle services, Sandcastle fees, etc.
Note: There is NO additional fee or surcharge for online payments.
Please note that Payment Services Network, rather than KICA, will appear on your statement. If you have any questions, contact KICA’s Accounting Department at (843)768-9194 or email@example.com.