In an attempt to draw people from the busy south island roads, Hilton Head Island Town Council approved a series of items Tuesday that it hopes to implement this tourism season.
Council approved contracting a golf cart service to shuttle people from mid and north island parking lots, such as Chaplin Park, to beaches nearby.
It also approved a marketing plan to lure beachgoers from popular south island beaches, such as Coligny, to lesser-used ones, such as Burkes Beach. Also approved Tuesday was the installation of signs to reroute people away from Sea Pines Circle.
All of the changes come from recommendations out of the Circle to Circle Committee, which was created to develop ways to reduce traffic on south island roadways.
Not everyone on the council was on board with approving the recommendations. Council members Tom Lennox, Marc Grant and John McCann all voted against them.
“The day of reckoning is upon us,” Lennox said, alluding to the town’s budget meetings set to start next month. “We are going to have to make tough decisions in upcoming days.”
The Council approved $20 million in loans to cover Hurricane Matthew recovery bills in March.
Staff has estimated total recovery will cost about $82.1 million. After reimbursement form the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the town is expected to be left with about $26.7 million in expenses. It is also unknown how soon the town will receive reimbursement from FEMA.
Mayor David Bennett said he didn’t see funding as a concern.
“I am of the mindset that we have a number of priorities, and they are all important,” Bennett said. “Which one do we put off — storm drainage, sewers, parking? They are all important.”
Lennox noted the town may have to borrow more money if it tackles every concern.
Scott Liggett, town director of public projects and facilities and chief engineer, said after the meeting that he was uncertain of the cost to implement all of the projects. He also said he is uncertain what the timeline will be.
“Staff will have to start discussions about these items tomorrow,” Liggett said.