Sea Pines doubles fees to cover Hurricane Matthew costs

First look: Sea Pines after Hurricane Matthew

File: Reporter Erin Heffernan shares the effects of Hurricane Matthew on the Sea Pines community on Oct. 9, a day after the major storm blew by Hilton Head Island, its eyewall just 5 to 10 miles offshore.
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File: Reporter Erin Heffernan shares the effects of Hurricane Matthew on the Sea Pines community on Oct. 9, a day after the major storm blew by Hilton Head Island, its eyewall just 5 to 10 miles offshore.

The toll of Hurricane Matthew will be showing up in Sea Pines’ property owners’ pocketbooks in 2017, according to a recent announcement from the Sea Pines Community Services Associates.

Mark Griffith, CSA chairman, said the board voted last week to double the assessments to cover Hurricane Matthew cleanup costs, estimated at about $8 million to $10 million. He said costs could be more than $2.5 million by the end of the year.

Owners of improved lots in the private community paid $1,018 annually last year. In 2017, they will pay that amount again as a one-time special assessment, plus annual regular fees of $1,028, up $10 from this year, Griffith said.

The board is allowed to implement a special fee without a community vote, Griffith said. He said the maximum special assessment allowed is equal to the previous year’s fees.

“We felt it was the best thing for the community to approve the most that was allowable,” he said.

The CSA received about $6.5 million from assessments last year, Griffith said. He said it expects to receive about the same amount from the special fee.

“There was substantial damage to the community,” he said. “This includes damage to boardwalks and other amenities.”

About $2.5 million in reserves will likely be depleted by the end of the year, he said.

“We have borrowing lines, but you have to replenish that,” Griffith said. “We have a small insurance reimbursement, and we have a FEMA claim, but that could take a long time to receive.”

Property owners will be allowed to set up a payment plan for the special fee, which will be due with the annual assessment on Jan. 13, according to a release.

Teresa Moss: 843-706-8152, @TeresaIPBG


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Oct. 21, 2016 Those who didn’t evacuate for Matthew tell us about their night. | READ


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