Hilton Head lays out capital plans for 2012

Town of Hilton Head Island officials hope to make Coligny Plaza and other areas of the island more attractive to private development through a series of road and drainage improvements, pathway construction and park development.

Members of the town's Capital Improvements Program Committee, a subset of the Planning Commission, met Monday to review more than $15 million in public projects planned for 2012.

Many of the improvements are focused in the town's tax increment financing districts in the Stoney area, the Bridge to Beach corridor along Palmetto Bay Road and Pope Avenue and the Chaplin- Mathews Drive area. The district designations expire in 2014.

"There is an urgency in all of our TIF district's with that expiration date of 2014," said Scott Liggett, director of public projects and facilities for the town.

The town plans to spend $4.2 million in road improvements in 2012, including extending Nassau Street to Pope Avenue, installing a roundabout at Mathews Drive and Marshland Road, and improving Lagoon Road. About $300,000 is budgeted to buy right of way and pay legal and environmental mitigation expenses for improvements on William Hilton Parkway at the entrance to Windmill Harbour. Construction there is proposed in 2014.

A traffic light at Leamington Plantation and the Fresh Market Shoppes on William Hilton Parkway near Palmetto Dunes would be moved to 2013, due to complications with adjacent landowners.

Other expenses include $882,000 for park development, including improvements to the Island Recreation Center and development of the Chaplin Linear Park with a boardwalk connecting a string of town-owned open space to Shelter Cove Park.

About $3.8 million is budgeted to refurbish town-owned buildings, demolish abandoned buildings, replace the fire station at Palmetto Dunes and design a new fire station for Sea Pines. Approximately $700,000 is budgeted for pathways.

"In the end, taxpayers will be able to touch and feel improvements that impact quality of life and the attractiveness of Hilton Head Island," said CIP committee chairman Tom Lennox.

The recommended projects go to the full Planning Commission on Nov. 17, then to Town Council for final approval.