While Hurricane Matthew slammed the shores of Beaufort County’s other barrier islands, Bay Point was spared extensive damage, said Bay Point Island LLC spokesman Tom Gardo.
However, plans to annex the uninhabited 347-acre island and transform it into a resort will halt until the beginning of next year at the earliest, Gardo said, because town officials “have their hands full” with the storm’s aftermath on Hilton Head.
“We need to focus on the reconstruction of Hilton Head first and repair what we already have,” town manager Steve Riley said.
Riley said he has seen Bay Point just once — and that was from a helicopter high in the sky on the afternoon of Oct. 8, after the hurricane had hit.
“It was hard to tell (from that height) what was down and what wasn’t,” he said.
From the ground, Gardo said Bay Point Island’s caretaker reported some fallen pine trees and minor erosion on the sound. The wooden walkway from the dock onto Bay Point was washed away.
“The island held up extremely well compared to a lot of other places,” Gardo said.
But the island’s annexation timeline will be pushed back a couple of months, he said. Still, there are no plans to suspend their annexation application in writing, he added.
Meanwhile, some town council members say they have been in the dark about Bay Point since the storm.
“I haven’t gotten any update on Bay Point,” said Ward 4 representative Kim Likins. “And to be honest, the (Hilton Head) island has been first and foremost in our minds. Bay Point hasn’t even come into consideration as a priority right now.”
Other board members echoed Likins’ remarks.
The topic was not brought up at the most recent town council meeting Tuesday, Ward 5 representative Tom Lennox said.
He also said he would support a suspension of the resort’s annexation application while Hilton Head focuses on rebuilding.
Located across the Port Royal Sound from Hilton Head, the island’s annexation proposal was released to the public via a town council agenda Sept. 16.