Board created to help spruce up southern Beaufort County roads

cconley@islandpacket.comMarch 11, 2013 

Beaufort County Council on Monday declared March "Disabilities Awareness Month." Ms. Gardenia Simmons-White, of the county's Disabilities and Special Needs board, thanked the county for helping raise awareness of the issue as council chairman Paul Sommerville looks on.

Beaufort County Council created a new advisory board Monday that will help guide visual improvements along high-traffic corridors in southern Beaufort County.

County administrator Gary Kubic said the Southern Beaufort County Corridor Beautification Board's main objective will be making busy roads such, as U.S. 278 and Bluffton Parkway, more attractive.

"I think the purpose is to focus attention on one of the primary gateways and on the beautification and consistency along the gateway itself -- so that when a resident, visitor or person doing business enters that corridor, it's something special," Kubic said.

The board won't spend any money, but it will offer input to County Council on everything from landscape architecture to lighting upgrades along roads the county owns or maintains.

The board will consist of nine members: one each from seven central and southern County Council districts and also representatives nominated by Bluffton and Hilton Head Island town councils.

Visual improvements to the region's major gateways have long been a priority for Bluffton officials. On Monday, town manager Anthony Barrett praised the new advisory board as something that "should be welcomed by all."

County Councilman Tabor Vaux, who represents Old Town Bluffton and surrounding areas, also backs the plan, which was approved unanimously.

"I think it's got a good opportunity to improve the area," he said.

Kubic, who had argued for a countywide body instead of one focusing just on the southern region, said a similar northern board could be created, as well.

OTHER ACTION

In other action Monday, County Council:

  • Appointed JetBlue Airlines co-founder Alfred Spain to the county's Airports Board. Spain will succeed Hilton Head resident Richard Wirth, who did not receive the 10 votes needed for a third two-year term. Six others also were appointed to the board, which helps oversee the county's airports on Lady's Island and Hilton Head.

  • Held a second of three readings on a planned $25 million bond sale to fund the Rural and Critical Lands preservation program. Voters approved a third round of borrowing for the program in November. A final council vote is scheduled for March 25.

  • Related content

    1. Landscaping planned for new Bluffton Parkway sections, July 25, 2012
    2. Downtown lighting, landscaping upgrades under way in Old Town Bluffton, May 15, 2012
    3. Bluffton Town Council workshop to focus on aesthetics, April 22, 2012

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